University of Washington

UW basketball’s big get: Huskies sign five-star center Isaiah Stewart

La Lumiere’s Isaiah Stewart #33 in action against IMG Academy in the Boys Final game at the Geico High School Basketball Nationals in the Queens borough of New York on Saturday, April 6, 2019. IMG won the game and the championship. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
La Lumiere’s Isaiah Stewart #33 in action against IMG Academy in the Boys Final game at the Geico High School Basketball Nationals in the Queens borough of New York on Saturday, April 6, 2019. IMG won the game and the championship. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) AP

Five-star center and McDonald’s All-American Isaiah Stewart signed with Washington on Wednesday morning.

Stewart, who verbally committed in January, picked the Huskies over fellow finalists Duke, Michigan State, Syracuse and Kentucky.

“We’re so happy to welcome Isaiah to the Husky family and ready to have him in purple and gold,” UW basketball coach Mike Hopkins said in a release. “He is a dynamic player who has an unrelenting work ethic that fits exactly what we are trying to build here at Washington.

“He’s a difference maker not only on the court but as a leader, a worker and a person. He’s going to be a great teammate and he’s a proven winner. We’re excited for him to join this class and know he is going to be a great representative for Husky nation.”

ESPN considers Stewart (6-9, 245) the No. 4 prospect in the country, which makes him the highest-ranked recruit in UW history. He’s ranked as the No. 3 center and the No. 6 player in his class by 247Sports.com. Stewart was named the Naismith High School Player of the Year and earned a spot at the Jordan Brand Classic. He also competed at the Nike Hoop Summit and was a member of the 2018 U-17 FIBA World Cup Team that won the gold medal for USA Basketball.

“Me and Coach Hopkins go way back from when I was a freshman,” Stewart said when he committed in January. “I’m a big relationship guy. Relationship plays a major role in my recruitment. He’s a coach I trust to push me harder and help me accomplish my goals.”

Stewart, who is from Rochester, N.Y. and plays for La Lumiere in Indiana, joins four-star guard RaeQuan Battle (Marysville) and three-star guard Marcus Tsohonis (Portland) in the 2019 class. UW also brought in Quade Green, a former five-star point guard who transferred from Kentucky. Green will be eligible at the start of the winter quarter.

The Huskies are still hoping to add to their class by landing Federal Way’s Jaden McDaniels, who is considered the top power forward and No. 5 player in the country by 247Sports. McDaniels, a five-star prospect who was also named a McDonald’s All-American, lists UW among his finalists alongside San Diego State, UCLA Kentucky and Texas.

Even without McDaniels, 247Sports ranks the Huskies’ 2019 class No. 22 in the country and No. 4 in the Pac-12 behind Arizona, USC and Oregon, respectively.

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