Sean Stewart and the Montverde Academy Eagles (FL) came into the 2023 Spalding Hoophall Classic looking to solidify their top ranking in the country. Montverde played two games over the weekend, dominating both of its opponents. The Eagles routed LaLumiere School (IN) 85-63 on Saturday and defeated Sunrise Christian Academy (KS) 64-51 on Monday. Stewart, a 6-foot-8 forward, will be suiting up for the Duke Blue Devils next fall – joining the No. 2 recruiting class in the country.
The Springfield Student sat down with Stewart to see what he is looking forward to as he continues his basketball career.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
“Obviously, winning a National Championship is the main goal, and just continue to get better individually. A lot of games are coming up, and the McDonald’s All-American game is something that I want to push for.”
Who do you think is the most underrated player in the NBA?
“Probably someone like Herb Jones or Trey Murphy from the Pelicans. They play their role well, they play defense, they shoot and do what the teams need and that’s something I try to do as well for my team.”
Is there a particular mindset you have going into each game?
“No one is going to play harder than me, that’s all I really look to do. All the stats will come, rebounds, blocks, steals. That’s pretty much it.”
Would you rather break someone’s ankles or put them on a poster?
“Definitely a poster. It has way more energy as a play. It gets everyone going, the momentum. Poster for sure.”
What keeps you motivated as you continue to work on your game?
“Just seeing everything that’s out there motivates me, and looking forward to college, the NBA – all of that stuff. My family is always motivating me and pushing me to keep going.”
How did it feel to get two wins at Hoophall?
“It felt great. We came into this weekend locked in. We knew it was easy to go 0-2 going against really good teams, so we just really didn’t want to lose and we came out with so much energy.”
Favorite part of Hoophall this year?
“Just the environment. I’ve been watching Hoophall since I was a little kid. With all the great players that have been here, it’s just great to be here.”
What team are you most looking forward to facing next year?
“North Carolina, just to be part of that rivalry.”
How do you feel about Ian Jackson committing to UNC today?
“Hey, Ian is my guy. He’s my USA teammate, but we’re rivals now so I might have to talk to him about that.”
Favorite NBA team?
Favorite player from that team?
“Gotta be Tatum for sure.”
Favorite basketball shoe?
“KD 14s – any of them. They are the most comfortable shoes.”
What is the most underrated part of your own game?
“Probably my versatility on defense. I can guard anyone on the court – from the guards to the center.”
Photo: Luke Whitehouse / The Student