University of Washington freshman phenom Isaiah Stewart has been selected as the No. 16 pick of the 2020 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers with the pick potentially being traded to the Detroit Pistons. He is the second Pac-12 player to be drafted in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Stewart is the Huskies 12th first round pick since 2005 and is the 12th since the draft switched to just two rounds in 1989. He is the eighth first round pick since 2002 for the Dawgs and the fifth over the last five drafts as Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers, pick No. 8), Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia 76ers, pick No. 1), Marquese Chriss (Phoenix Suns, pick No. 8) and Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs, pick No. 29) were all first round selections.
RECORD BREAKING FRESHMAN SEASON
Stewart was a heralded freshman at Washington as he was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team, Pac-12 All-Freshman Team, USBWA All-District IX team, NABC All-District 19 Second Team. He was named to the 2019-20 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Watch List, the Wooden Award Top 25 Midseason List and the Naismith Player of the Year Watch List.
Stewart finished the 2019-20 season leading the team with 17.0 points per game and 8.8 rebounds. He reached double-figure scoring in 30 games, with nine of those being 20-point efforts. He finished the season with a career-high 29 points against Arizona. Additionally, he posted five 20-point/10-rebound efforts and 14 double-doubles which was second most by a Pac-12 player on the year.
The Rochester, N.Y., native set the UW freshman record for blocks (66) and rebounds (281) while also becoming the 40th player in UW history to reach 500 points in a season. His 543 points were the fifth-most by a Washington freshman as well.
He was also the 2019 Naismith High School National Player of the Year, a 2019 McDonald’s All-American and a 2019 Jordan Brand Classic Selection.
Quote from Mike Hopkins:
With Isaiah, you are getting one of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around. He’s also just the ultimate professional. He’s focused, ready to go, can impact a team winning right away just in terms of his focus and his professionalism. He’s really good on the inside and will really prove to everyone through his work ethic that he’s a high level 3-point shooter, which is something he works on daily. He’s so coachable, so relentless in his approach to not only how he plays but with his professionalism. He does the right thing every day. He doesn’t let a disappointment or losing get to him, he is one of those guys that just shakes it off and works on what to do better next time and how can he improve and help his team improve. You tell him something, he learns, you tell him to work on something, and he works on it like no one you’ve ever seen before, that’s just the kind of kid he is. He will impact winning at any organization right away.