On Saturday afternoon, the Washington Men’s Basketball team announced that their first three games of the season have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns among visiting teams. The Husky Classic, which was set to be held Nov. 25, 27 and 28 at Alaska Airlines Arena featured Washington, Portland State, San Diego and Cal State Fullerton.
As of now, Cal State Fullerton and San Diego are dealing with COVID-19 related shutdowns and Portland State’s availability is still uncertain due to its status with the Oregon Health Authority. Washington’s next scheduled game is December 3 at Utah.
Washington head coach
“We’re obviously disappointed for our student-athletes who have been getting ready for the start of the season but we understand the necessity of the protocols put in place to protect their safety during this time,” said
Last season, Washington finished 15-17 before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This season, the Huskies will be without last year’s top scorer Isaiah Stewart, who was drafted during Wednesday night’s 2020 NBA Draft.
The Detroit Pistons took the 6-foot-9 forward with the 16th overall pick in the first round of the NBA draft, held at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. The pick was originally Portland’s but they traded it away for the rights to Robert Covington.
Stewart was the second Pac-12 player picked. USC’s Onyeka Okongwu was taken with the No. 6 overall pick by Atlanta.
The move to turn pro was expected, but the 6-foot-9 Stewart did say after the Pac-12 Tournament that he was going to explore his options and talk to UW Head Coach
“With a grateful heart, I would like to first thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because without him there would be no Isaiah Stewart,” he said. “I would also like to thank my family for their unconditional love and unwavering support. Thank you to Coach Hopkins for always believing in me. I can’t express enough gratitude for the coaching staff that invested in my future and prepared me for the next level. I will always cherish the bond that I forged with my teammates, my brothers in battle. Thank you for challenging me every single day, on and off the court.
“Coming from the East Coast, the City of Seattle was so welcoming to me. It will always have a special place in my heart and I’ll never forget all the love that the fans showed me. Finally, I’d like to thank the University of Washington for giving me an opportunity to be a part of the Husky family!
“After discussions with my family and the coaching staff, and with a great deal of prayer, thought, and consideration, I have decided to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft.
Despite playing for a team that went 5-13 in Pac-12 play, good enough for dead last, Stewart not only finished on the All-Pac-12 First Team, but he was also a slam-dunk pick for the all-freshman team, picked by the Pac-12 coaches.
Stewart led the Huskies in scoring (16.6 points per game), rebounds (8.7 rpg), blocks (2.1 big), field goal percentage (56.1 percent) and minutes (32.2 minutes per game). Those marks put him in the top-10 of each category listed.
“Isaiah exemplifies everything you want from a student-athlete,” Hopkins said after news broke of Stewart’s decision. “He wears his heart on his sleeve, in the way he plays, how he interacts with the community, our fans and everyone he comes into contact with. As a coach, you want to see your players’ dreams come true. His dream of playing in the NBA is becoming a reality. I’m so proud of him. He is a special kid and I was honored to coach him. He’ll be a part of the Husky family forever.”