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Jaylin Stewart finds ‘perfect fit’ with UConn basketball
Garfield’s Jaylin Stewart committed to UConn earlier this month. (Credit: University of Connecticut Athleitcs)

Jaylin Stewart finds ‘perfect fit’ with UConn basketball

SEATTLE (BVM) — The best high school basketball prospects in the country have to decide where they’re going to continue their athletic career. Washington’s top prospect, Jaylin Stewart, decided to join one of the nation’s most distinguished basketball programs: the UConn Huskies.

“I chose UConn because I feel like they made an extra effort to show that I was going to be a key piece in what they got going on,” Stewart told On3.com. “When I was on the visit, I clicked with all the players and the coaching staff are already close to my family, so it was the perfect fit for me.”

Standing at 6-foot-6, the No. 59 overall player has already accomplished a great deal on the basketball court, including leading Garfield High School to a state championship (14th title) as a freshman. Just last season, he helped lead the Bulldogs to 22 straight victories before falling to Auburn High School.

Stewart also competed in the summer league competitions such as the Nike EYBL summer circuit. There he averaged 16.4 points.

The four-star recruit’s play drew the attention of Division I programs such as Oklahoma, USC and Alabama. However, he chose UConn over the other schools.

Moreover, Stewart becomes the first high school player from Washington to sign with the Huskies since Doug Wrenn did in 1999.

When Stewart officially joins UConn, the expectations will be high. The team didn’t meet expectations last year as it finished with an overall record of 23-10 (13-6 Big East) and made it to the NCAA Tournament, where New Mexico State knocked the Huskies out in the first round.

When Stewart takes the court in Mansfield, he’ll have the opportunity to play for one of the most energetic coaches in basketball: Dan Hurley. Since taking over in 2018, Hurley has an overall record of 73-32. Stewart will help boost that record and increase the Huskies’ chances of winning another national title. 

“He is explosive,” former NBA scout Francis Williams told scorebooklive.com. “He can shoot it. He’s tough. He has the right attitude, has the right approach, and now the thing you look for with him in his senior year is leadership can he lead his team to a (Class 3A) championship? From what I’ve seen, he is more than capable of doing it.”

Stewart has shown he is full of potential in just a few years. Surely the competition at the college level will be more demanding, but a promising player like him is ready to perform at the highest level for one of the game’s best programs. 

“The program is going to get a player that can put the ball in the hoop in every way and give effort on the defensive end and rebound and, most importantly, a player that wants to win,” Stewart told On3.com. “I want to thank the UConn fans for showing a lot of love while I was on the visit and just always showing me love on social media too. I can’t wait to be a part of the family!”