Honor Student: Precocious Stewart Named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week

Dan Raley

Isaiah Stewart, Washington's ever promising first-year basketball player, has been selected Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, his first in-season honor since joining the Huskies.

There's a real good chance it won't be his last.

Appearing in three games in seven days, Stewart averaged a double-double for the week. He first scored 16 points and grabbed a career-best 15 rebounds against South Dakota. He added 12 points and 6 rebounds in playing just half a game against Eastern Washington. He went for 21 points and 10 rebounds against ninth-ranked Gonzaga. 

Everyone who's seen him play, coaches, commentators and opponents alike, raves about his mature basketball skills. 

"I was very impressed with Stewart," Zags coach Mark Few said without much prompting following his team's 83-76 victory over the UW, listing several attributes.

Stewart, a 6-foot-9 native of Rochester, New York, and widely considered a one-and-done collegian, has gotten off to a rousing start for the Huskies, wasting no time in establishing himself. 

He's topped the UW in scoring in five of his team's nine games, and done the same as a rebounder, with season highs of 25 points and those aforementioned 15 boards.

"He's all heart and soul," Huskies coach Mike Hopkins said of the post player. "He's leading us right now."

He's actually the first UW freshman basketball player to be honored by the Pac-12 with its weekly award since Tony Wroten in 2012.

Stewart is matter of fact about the hoop skills he inherited and he's shown himself to be a very determined athlete. He's dedicated in his workouts, ferocious when dunking the ball, nimble whenever maneuvering close to the basket. 

He embraces the college spotlight, yet maintains a humble approach. Whenever dealing with media members, he's always polite, thanking them each time once he's done with the periodic interview obligation. He'll gladly stop and do an iPhone video selfie for an admiring student fan. He greets people as he passes them.

Quizzed about the Gonzaga game, held in a raucous, sold-out arena, it was typical Stewart when he said, "It was great. I was blessed to be out there playing for my brothers. I did everything I could to help us get a win."