Former Prince Tech standout Kazell Stewart signed a national letter of intent on Friday to play basketball at Southern Connecticut State University.
The 6-foot-6, 200-pound Stewart verbally committed to the Owls’ program earlier this month. He is currently taking a post-graduate year at Lee Academy in Lee, Maine. That team is currently not playing basketball due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to be able to bring my energy,” Stewart said. “I want to be around a good environment and learn from everyone playing there.”
The Hartford Courant first reported the news of Stewart’s signing, which took place at Prince Tech.
Southern Connecticut State coach Scott Burrell said Stewart was on the Owls’ radar when he was at Prince Tech, but Stewart was a Division I prospect.
“He has A-10 potential,” said Burrell, referring to the Atlantic-10 Conference. “He is probably the best athlete to come out of Connecticut in this year’s class. He has unlimited potential who wants to be pushed and taught. He has a chance to win a conference championship and go far in the NCAA (Division II) tournament. I think he wants to learn and wants to get better and that is what we are excited about.”
Stewart and Kendall May, Stewart’s high school coach, said Stewart had a couple of Division I scholarship offers from Long Island and Bryant. But Stewart said he was concerned about being academically eligible to play Division I basketball — and possibly having to either sit out a redshirt year or have to go play at a junior college first.
Plus, Stewart liked the conversations he had with Burrell about his future.
“We had a lot of level-headed conversations about being able to go to school for an opportunity, what the program can do for me and my basketball career, and about education. It was always about education first before basketball.”
Said May: “I’m happy for Kazell. He has a full ride to go to a university and continue his education and basketball is a byproduct of that.”
Stewart joins Newington’s Mason Romano in SCSU’s recruiting class. Romano and Stewart grew up together and played AAU ball for the New Haven Heat.
“I’ve played ball with Mason for a long time, since we were kids. We’re pretty close,” Stewart said. “It’s going to be fun when I am not in the game and he is in, to be able and watch him and watch the team, the plays, pick up some tendencies.”
Stewart averaged 25.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 3.9 steals and 3.0 blocks as a senior at Prince Tech. He finished his career with 1,827 points and 1,138 rebounds.
Last week, the Northeast-10 Conference canceled both its regular season and postseason. Burrell said “it doesn’t look like we will be playing out-of-league games.”