From Rochester to the NBA: Isaiah Stewart drafted No. 16 overall by Detroit Pistons in first round


Stewart is now the highest ever draft pick out of Rochester, topping Al Butler, who was taken 17th overall in 1961

NEW YORK CITY (WROC) —  Rochester native and rising basketball star Isaiah Stewart was drafted No. 16 overall by the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night.

Stewart is now the highest ever draft pick out of Rochester, surpassing Greece Athena’s John Wallace who was picked 18th overall by the New York Knicks in 1996 and Al Butler, who was taken 17th overall in 1961 by the Boston Celtics.

“It means a lot to me, but not only that, it just means a lot to Rochester,” said Stewart to local media. “We’re going to continue to have a lot of guys on the map and going to continue to wake guys up who sleep on us.”

The 6-foot-9 center finished his freshman season at Washington averaging 17 points and 8.8 rebounds, setting the UW freshman records for blocks (66) and rebounds (281).

Stewart played in all 32 games and recorded 14 double-doubles, earning himself All-Pac-12 First Team and All-Pac-12 Freshman team honors.

“I’m excited to get there as soon as possible and get to work, do everything I can to help Detroit win basketball games,” said Stewart. “They’re getting a dog, someone who’s going to come in and work hard from Day 1.”

Stewart played three years at McQuaid Jesuit before leaving to attend La Lumiere in Indiana as a senior. He was ranked as the No. 2 in the country by Rivals and No. 3 by ESPN, consistently named a five star recruit out of high school.

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In 2019, Stewart was named the Naismith High School Player of the Year in 2019, a McDonald’s All-American, and a Jordan Brand Classic Selection.

Stewart was a member of the USA Basketball U-17 and helped the team win gold at the 2018 U-17 FIBA World Cup. He also competed for City Rocks in the EYBL.

The pick was officially made on behalf of the Portland Trailblazers, for the Pistons due to a trade.

Detroit also selected Killian Hayes (French point guard) seventh overall, Saddiq Bey (small forward out of Villanova) at No. 19, and Saben Lee (guard from Vanderbilt) at No. 38.

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