Barrington Stevens warned his college teammates they were about to be embarrassed if they didn’t take his little brother seriously.
Isaiah — 8 years younger than Barrington — and their parents were visiting Barrington during the season while he was playing college basketball at the University of South Alabama.
When Barrington and his teammates started playing pickup basketball at the rec center, Isaiah wanted to join in despite being just 12 or 13 years old at the time.
“He was obviously smaller; they started off trying to take it easy on him,” Barrington recalled this week. “We told them ‘you might want to hold him accountable just as much as anyone on the court because he’s liable to score every single point if you decide to leave him open.’ ”
Isaiah — now a senior at Allen High School in Texas and who signed to play at CSU — quickly proved Barrington’s warning true.
“I remember the first game, we were going to 12 and he had like eight or 10 of the 12 points,” Barrington said, laughing at the memory. “That was pretty cool to watch. He was in a different environment, playing against older guys and he didn’t really care. He was just out there playing basketball like we were in the backyard.”
The story says something about Isaiah’s talent level but even more about his mindset.
He wins. Period.
Isaiah was the starting point guard for Allen’s 35-5 Class 6A state championship team a year ago. Allen is known nationally as a football powerhouse and it was the first basketball title for the school.
The Eagles graduated four starters other than Isaiah, along with the top two off the bench. Big transition, right? Wrong.
In a testament to the system built at Allen and the leadership of Isaiah, Allen is 26-2 and ranked No. 4 in 6A (highest class) by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches and No. 1 by MaxPreps.
Isaiah is the leader and taking on a bigger scoring role as a senior.
The 6-foot point guard is averaging 21 points per game, shooting just shy of 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point territory and dishing out nearly five assists a game.
“He does the small details of the game at an elite level,” Colorado State University assistant coach Ali Farokhmanesh said. “Probably higher than most people in college do, to be honest.”