Isaiah Stewart, considered one of the area’s best high school basketball players last winter as a freshman, suffered an injury that will sideline him for most of the upcoming season.
Stewart broke his tailbone this past weekend during tryouts for the United States Under-16 team in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He said surgery is scheduled for Friday.
“I heard a pop sound,” Stewart said. “I just went for up a layup.”
Stewart, who is 6 feet 8 inches tall and has put on about 25 pounds and weights about 230, described the cause of the injury as a combination of his growth plates remaining open and his strength.
“After surgery, they said it will be about three months,” Stewart said. “They said I can come back a few games before the sectionals.
“It’s a freak injury, it happened at the ‘right’ time. It could’ve happened to anyone.”
Stewart was offered his first athletic scholarship near the end of the 2015-16 season. That total is now up to nine, in alphabetical order: Florida, George Washington, Niagara, Saint Bonaventure, St. Louis, State University of New York at Buffalo, Syracuse, Tennessee and Wake Forest.
“It’s tough, because he’s worked so hard and everyone wanted to see what he could do this year,” McQuaid coach Jack Leasure said. “You wouldn’t believe how good he is now.”
Area coaches voted Stewart on to the 2016 Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester Boys Basketball team after he averaged 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocked shots as a 15-year-old. He twice scored 40 or more points and was named Player of the Year in the Rochester City Athletic Conference, formerly known as the City-Catholic League.
“It should heal and not be a problem,” Stewart said.