COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.) forward Isaiah Stewart knows that at some point in the future he’ll have to chart his course away from the basketball court and onto his next phase of life.
“I could see myself working in some sort of front office or something like that,” said Stewart, the No. 3 overall player in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2019.
When that time comes, he’ll have some much-needed, on-the-job experience as a general manager thanks to one of the college coaches in his top seven. Sort of, anyway.
“I had a coach tell me that I could pick the players they recruit to come and play with me,” Stewart said. “I’ve heard a lot of coaches say a lot of things, but that was different.”
Stewart wouldn’t dish on which coach gave him the proverbial keys to the car, but Indiana, Washington, Syracuse, Duke, Kentucky, Villanova and Michigan State round out his top seven schools.
“That’s flattering for the recruit and it’s obviously said to influence the decision,” ESPN recruiting director Paul Biancardi said. “It’s creative as long as it’s kept in perspective because there are no guarantees that the school can get who he wants. Coaches are very aware of who kids want to play with and when you’re at that level, it’s likely that the coach is already recruiting most of the kids he wants anyway.”
Whoever pulled out all the stops trying to land Stewart wasn’t exactly out of his mind: Stewart will legitimize the national title hopes of whichever school he chooses.
That much was clear at the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Minicamp on Saturday. Stewart overpowered players in the paint, knocked down the short jump shot and outworked the opposition on the glass and on defense.
“I was honored that an elite school would have that level of trust in me,” Stewart said. “I won’t say it made me want to go there more, but it’s something I’ll remember.”
Stewart is fresh off an official visit to Kentucky; he took an official to Washington the weekend before that.
“I’m just taking my time with everything because I want to make the best decision possible,” Stewart said. “This is a big decision so it’s something that I really have to think through and get all the information about.”
Spoken like a true GM.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY