During Memorial Day Weekend, the recruiting world was introduced to Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart. There at the Tournament of Champions, the few who happened to catch their games were floored by the phenomenal display of skill and athleticism. (To read our coverage of the Stewarts at the TOC, with several great video clips, click here.)
Most importantly, when we approached the rising juniors after the game, they said they wanted to be Tar Heels.
Now, Carolina fans refer to them simply as "The Twins."
Since their national unveiling in late May, the Stewarts carried the burden of hype with them to the ABCD Camp in July, where they initially struggled in an all-star game environment – as well as dealing with a misunderstanding by a major newspaper which sent a story over the wires saying they had committed to Carolina. (To read our coverage of the Stewarts at ABCD, click here.)
Two weeks later, the twins both made the all-tournament team at the massive Big Time tournament in Las Vegas, each averaging about 20 points per game.
InsideCarolina's Clint Jackson spoke this week with Bull Stewart for an extensive update on Lodrick and Rodrick.
As an interesting sidenote, they aren't the only twins in the Stewart family. Bull also has a set of 8-year-olds, Hakeen and Kadeem Stewart. And, then there's cousin Jarvis Stewart, a 6-6 sophomore, who will play for Rainier Beach this fall.
Checking In With The Twins
by Clint Jackson and Ben Sherman
Bull Stewart owns and runs Bull Stewart Enterprises in Rainier Beach, Wash. He and his staff put their clients through rigorous workouts, intensely training athletes of all ages and backgrounds.
And, they also train Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart.
Bull's 16-year-old sons are the stars of the Rainier Beach High basketball team and are big names in recruiting circles. The high-flying identical twins emerged this summer as two of the top players in the Class of 2003 – and they've repeatedly said their goal is to be the best. And with that goal, among others, in mind, the Stewarts are working hard on all aspects of their game.
One particular person has had a special influence in providing motivation.
Lodrick and Rodrick frequently scrimmage with the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics and have become friends with star Sonics guard Gary Payton, who is a big fan.
Payton had a heart-to-heart talk with both of them earlier this summer. He stressed that they are incredible athletes, with tremendous explosiveness, but that they needed to work on the skills and fundamentals that are necessary to make it at the NBA level.
Since the talk, the twins have been in the gym seemingly non-stop.
According to the elder Stewart, they have been going through extensive, lengthy workouts with an "awesome shooting coach."
"They're shooting between 300-500 shots a day," Bull Stewart said. "The amount that they have improved since the early summer is unbelievable."
But their jumpshot isn't the only part of their game that's rapidly improving.
"These guys now – I'm telling you – they're using jab steps, fadeaways, everything," he said. "Their intensity and mental drive is incredible.
"They are really growing, maturing physically and their confidence level is just so high right now," he said.
To be continued …
Check back tomorrow for Part II of IC's Checking In With The Twins.