Created: April 01, 2020 10:45 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester has a strong NBA history.
The Royals won the NBA title, John Wallace was a 1st round pick and Thomas Bryant is currently in the NBA.
Now, one more person took a big step towards dreams of pro basketball. Isaiah Stewart declared for the NBA Draft Wednesday.
We caught up with the dynamic player to get his thoughts on this career achievement.
Basketball fans in Rochester knew this day was coming, heck, Isaiah knew it too, but declaring for the NBA Draft was still a fun milestone for him and his family.
"Today was definitely a great day, see my family happy, FaceTime with my dad, seeing him smile, seeing him happy," Stewart said.
A one-and-done at Washington, Stewart was an All PAC-12 1st team selection and says he owes a lot to the UW coaching staff.
"I felt like it prepared me to play at the next level,” Stewart said. “I feel they gave me the tools I need to make it. They invested their time and gave it their all to make sure I was ready for the next step."
He was already a highly rated recruit as a freshman at McQuaid and turned into a McDonald's All-American while a senior in prep school.
But it was striving to be like a former Section V star and current NBA player Thomas Bryant that drove Stewart to reach the heights he's achieved so far.
"I told Thomas the other day, I said you're the reason why I wanted to become a McDonald's All-American so bad," Stewart said. "I remember being in high school and looking at his ESPN profile and seeing that he's a top-20 recruit and seeing that McDonald's badge next to his name. I want to be the next one up from Rochester, NY."
Declaring for the NBA Draft is just the first step. Soon, Stewart will work out for teams and meet general managers.
Whichever NBA team drafts Stewart will get more than just a talented player.
"Heart, heart, heart,” Stewart said. “I will go out on the court and just give it my all. I'll show up every day, that's my reputation and that'll never change, no matter how many contracts, no matter how much money, that'll never change about me. My chip on my shoulder, I just work hard every day to be the best teammate ever, to be the best player you can coach and try my best in any way to help an NBA team win a championship."
Hopefully a championship for an NBA team.... certainly a championship effort representing his hometown.
"Rochester is a huge deal for me, this is where everything started for me, I want to encourage the young ones out there to continue to chase their dreams and work hard at whatever they want to be in life because they sure can accomplish it," Stewart said.
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