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Ari Stewart ‘s ability to attack the rim makes him a promising prospect.
Small forward Ari Stewart , a 6-7, 190-pound prospect out of Marietta, Ga., is not afraid to attack the basket. That fact was immediately clear during an afternoon game at the NBPA Top 100 Camp being held at Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena. When asked whether taking it to the rim was a part of his game, Stewart flashed a wide smile before answering.
“Oh yeah, the biggest part,” he said grinning. “I like to finish. That’s my game.”
The ability to dribble drive from the perimeter is one of the most enticing aspects of Stewart’s game when it comes recruiting. He has a long and quick first step, which allows him to get by the initial defender. From there, his fearlessness and strong leaping ability make him a dynamic player on the wing, particularly as he continues to improve his jump shot. While he missed a 3-pointer in the same half as his two baseline attacks, his touch looked good on two trips to the free-throw line where he had a high and soft release.
Certainly Virginia could use an athletic wing forward that can penetrate off the dribble in addition to shooting the outside jumper as the need to complement players like Sylven Landesberg on future rosters. The Cavaliers have offered Stewart, who is rated as the No. 6 small forward by Scout and the No. 11 small forward by Rivals in the 2009 class. Rivals also lists him as a four-star recruit and the No. 59 overall prospect in its most recent top 150 rankings. He has also been invited to USA Basketball’s U18 trials starting July 1 in Washington D.C.
Other suitors on the list – and they’ve all offered – include Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Oregon, Georgia, and Tennessee. N.C. State, where former high school teammate J.J. Hickson played last season, may be in the mix as well.
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