BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — When recent Indiana commit Parker Stewart was in high school, current Indiana co-associate head coach Kenya Hunter was trying to recruit him to come play at Nebraska.
Stewart ended up choosing Pittsburgh. When Stewart decided to transfer from Pittsburgh in college, Hunter once again was in contact with him and tried to get him to come to play at UConn.
But Stewart decided to transfer to UT Martin to play for his father, who had been the head coach of the Skyhawks since 2016.
So when Stewart decided to become a grad transfer from UT Martin after getting his undergraduate degree in the summer of 2019 and recently earning his Masters degree in business administration this fall, Hunter once again contacted him.
This time, Hunter was trying to get Stewart to come to Indiana, and he finally got him.
"I just feel like it’s a good fit overall, and the tradition at the school I just couldn’t over look," Stewart told Sports Illustrated Indiana Tuesday night.
Stewart's father, Anthony Stewart, passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 15 at the age of 50.
"This is the hardest decision of my life because I feel like I shouldn't be making it," Stewart tweeted when he announced his commitment. "I'm suppose to still be playing with you on the sideline, Dad..."
This was another reason why the relationship with Hunter was so important to Stewart.
Stewart told SI Indiana, "I feel me and him (Hunter) have a good relationship and that I can trust him, and my father thought highly of him as well."
Stewart's mom is currently working on her PhD online at Indiana, and he said she was happy when the Hoosiers started recruiting him.
The 6-foot-5 guard was also considering Arkansas, Kansas State and Memphis. The geographical location of Indiana was a key factor in his decision as well.
"Bloomington is four hours away from where my family is currently in Tennessee and four hours away from Ohio where I’m originally from, so it just made sense distance wise," Stewart said.
In his collegiate career with both Pittsburgh and UT Martin, Stewart shot 36.3% from behind the 3-point line. He will be a solid addition for an Indiana team that has struggled with perimeter shooting.
He earned second-team All-Ohio Valley honors in 2019-20 after averaging 19.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
Stewart led the Ohio Valley Conference with 2.8 3-point field goals per game, was third in scoring, third in minutes played (36.1), seventh in assists and 10th in free throw percentage (76.6).
It's still uncertain whether or not Stewart will be able to contribute to Indiana this season — potentially playing during second semester after enrolling in January — or if Stewart won't be eligible until the 2021-22 season.
Sports Illustrated Indiana will continue to provide updates on Indiana recruiting.
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- PARKER STEWART COMMITS TO INDIANA: UT Martin grad transfer Parker Stewart officially commits to Indiana. CLICK HERE