Top-five senior Isaiah Stewart announced his commitment to Washington on Sunday night at the Hoophall Classic.
Stewart chose the Huskies over Duke, Michigan State, Syracuse and Kentucky during an announcement on ESPN.
He took official visits to all five of his finalists during the fall but decided not to commit during the early signing period. Washington head coach Mike Hopkins had a relationship with Stewart from his time as an assistant coach at Syracuse and continued to recruit the big man once he took over at Washington in March 2017.
"Me and Coach Hopkins go way back," Stewart said. "Once he got that head-coaching job at Washington, it changed a lot. At first, I wasn't leaning toward them, but as me and Coach Hopkins continued to talk, he's the type of guy that's like me — different, works hard and wants to start his own legacy — and that's what I want to do. I'm not an average or normal recruit. I could've went to another school and just been another one of those guys. I feel like I'm special, and I feel like I deserve to go out there. I feel like they deserve a top recruit. It's been a while."
Although the perceived favorite in his recruitment changed several times over the summer and fall — from Duke to Villanova to Kentucky to Michigan State — the Huskies remained a factor due to Stewart's connection with Hopkins. Washington already had two players from Stewart's grassroots program on the roster, guard Nahziah Carter and forward Hameir Wright.