Hikeem Stewart didn’t want to wait anymore.
He was ready to be a Husky. So, after talking to University of Washington coach Lorenzo Romar on Sunday the Rainier Beach standout was ready to make his decision.
“I talked to him about some stuff, asked him a couple of questions,” said Stewart, who announced his verbal commitment Monday. “But I kind of already had my mind made up at the end of my junior year that I was going to come to UW.”
The 6-foot-2 shooting guard helped the Vikings to the Class 3A state tournament as a junior, but really established himself as a highly touted prospect after his performance with the Friends of Hoop AAU team over the summer.
He said he didn’t want to drag out the process, because he already knew where he wanted to play his college basketball.
“It feels really good, because it was getting out of hand with so many colleges calling,” Stewart said. “I was like, there’s no point in me going through this. I already know where I’m going. I’m just going to make my announcement now.”
Stewart is the latest member of his family to commit to a Division I university after his older brothers Lodrick and Rodrick picked USC over the Huskies in 2002 – Rodrick transferred to Kansas after his freshman year. Stewart said he got to know Romar while his brothers were going through the recruiting process and his admiration for the coach helped make his decision easy.
“Me and coach Romar have a really close relationship,” he said. “I’ve known him since my older brothers were in high school. We just kept a close relationship and the program is doing good right now, so I decided to come to UW.”
Heading into his senior year, Stewart figures to be a key piece for the Vikings, who should once again be one of the top teams in the state. Stewart, whose twin brother, Kadeem, also plays for Rainier Beach, wants to finish his career at Beach with a state championship. The older twins won back-to-back titles in 2002 and 03.
“I didn’t want to be worried about all the college stuff when basketball season was going on, because I’m trying to get a championship,” Stewart said. “I don’t want to have all that stuff on my mind.”