Notre Dame Basketball

2020 Notre Dame Hoops Target DJ Steward Continues To Blow Up

July 16, 2019

Notre Dame was well aware of DJ Steward dating back over a year and the Irish extended a scholarship offer to the 2020 Illinois guard back in April.

But now, everybody seems to know about Steward, especially after landing an offer from Duke earlier this month.

“I think a lot of people are finally starting to notice him,” said Jonathan James, an assistant coach with Steward’s Meanstreets summer squad. “That 17U of the EYBL is completely different from 16, 15. It’s almost the closest thing you’re going to get to the next level. He was on fire on the circuit like every game. He had a 46-point game against Vegas Elite. He’s been on the highest stage and playing at the highest level.”

In addition to the Irish and the Blue Devils, the 6-foot-3, 165-pounder from Chicago also has offers from schools like Illinois, Texas, Arizona, Louisville, Florida, Marquette and NC State among others.

“He loves basketball,” James continued. “A lot of kids are into the rankings and want to make it to The League. He just likes to play basketball. He’s always smiling whenever we see him in the gym. He’ll go in the gym and if there’s some kids in there, he’ll shoot around with them. The kid just loves basketball. I think that’s rare today because so many kids are laser-focused on making it to the NBA that they forget to have fun.

“DJ always makes the right play. Everybody says he’s a good scorer, he can pass, he can lead a team. Whatever play needs to be made, he makes it. I’ve seen him do some stuff. He can definitely shoot the ball from deep. He can hit three in a row, but if somebody is open, he’s looking to make that next pass. If he knows he needs to attack, he’s going to attack. He just has a really, really high basketball acumen and it shows on the court.”

James said Steward is “completely wide open” at the moment.

“He’s not really leaning toward anybody,” he added. “It’s really going to come down to the fit. He’s not the type of player who would say, ‘I need to come in and play right away,’ or ‘I need to play fast. I need to play slow.’ He just needs to be comfortable. He’s a competitor. He’s used to competition. If a school has a guard there already or a guard committed, he wouldn’t shy away. He’d definitely still take a look at them.

“Everything is happening so quick. After the Duke offer, his phone started blowing up. After everything cools down with the hoopla of the Duke offer, he’ll start to break everything down to see exactly where he wants to go. He’s completely wide open.”

He’s expected to narrow his list down in the coming weeks. So far, Steward has only taken one official visit, to Texas, so he’ll likely take more before making a final decision.

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