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At nine years old, Sean Stewart walked into Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time, and so began a love story. Stewart absorbed all there was to see, feel and breathe of Duke Basketball. The air is just different there. After that, the Duke Basketball program became a goal – a mission. Cut to December 2021: with a Duke offer in hand, it was time to make a dream into a reality for the 6’8″, 225lb power forward. Duke was it.

The Floridian out of Montverde Academy comes from a basketball family with his father, Michael “Yogi” Stewart, having had an eight-year NBA career and his grandfather, Mike, having had a prestigious career at Santa Clara, taking home the WCC Player of the Year in 1972, then enjoying an eight-year career overseas. Stewart had cited Duke as being his dream school for quite a while and he even has a strong relationship with Blue Devil royalty in Grant Hill, who he’s known for much of his young life.

A standout during his three years at Windermere High School, Stewart averaged 20.5 ppg and 13.6 rpg his junior year (2021-22) to help Windermere High finish with a 21-7 overall record. Before committing to the Blue Devils in December 2021, Stewart received 15 Power 5 offers. After his commitment to the Blue Devils, Stewart transferred high schools from Windermere to Montverde, a powerhouse basketball school that sends a lion’s share of players to D1 schools but moreover plays one of the toughest schedules in high school basketball. Montverde has been good to the Blue Devils, having been the stomping grounds for both RJ Barrett and Dariq Whitehead – both were eventual first round draft picks in the NBA after leaving Durham.  Stewart wanted to play against and with the best players in the country and at Montverde he’d get that in games and practice. The move in some respects couldn’t have been a better situation for Stewart to prepare for Duke – a program that generally has a lot of high value, top players who have to learn to play with other players of the same ilk. Stewart even took a backseat, becoming the 6th man for a stacked Montverde team, but it was easy to see his value. Stewart made his mark as an energy guy who rebounded, was a lob threat and was a staunch defender who could defend multiple positions. Stewart was no slouch offensively either; during his senior season, the forward hit on 52.1% of his shots.

For the Blue Devils, Sean has the size and athletic prowess to be a guy that Jon Scheyer can plug into different roles both offensively and defensively. Obviously Stewart is not a center but best in the role of power or small forward – in college basketball though, it’s not unheard of to be able to use a player with Stewart’s skillset in any of those three roles depending on the lineup around them. Defensively, Stewart can switch and guard 1-5 and offensively can be a matchup issue for smaller players and he clearly has the athletic abilities to guard bigger ones. The biggest benefit I see is his energy, something Kevin Boyle often spoke of during Stewart’s time at Montverde, he’s a guy that brings that motor.

Activity is the key for Stewart; he’s quick off his feet and a superb help defender. He’s a lob threat and can be a rim runner for the Devils. Defense may be ahead of the offense currently for Stewart but there’s a lot of room for growth in that area and he’s shown signs of being a pick-and-pop guy as well. Stewart has been showcasing a mid-range jumper and if he can start knocking that down with consistency he will be dangerous, especially if Duke can keep him in Durham for a couple of years.

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