Dunham’s Carlos Stewart Named LSWA Mr. Louisiana Basketball

Written For The LSWA // By Robin Fambrough

When Carlos Stewart suffered a knee injury in January, there was no guarantee he could return to The Dunham School lineup.

For some, a leap of faith fuels the return to action. Stewart’s return just 20 days and five games after the injury/surgery was powered by a different kind of leap.

“After the surgery, I worked hard at rehab. The first practices I wasn’t sure about,” Stewart said. “Soon it felt good. The way I could run and jump … I knew I was OK.”

The 6-foot-1 senior was more than just OK. Stewart cemented his elite status after his return and was selected as the Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance/LSWA Mr. Basketball winner after leading the Tigers to a second straight Division III select LHSAA title.

The Santa Clara signee was prolific and efficient, averaging 32.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.8 steals. He made 55.4 precent of his field goal attempts, including 44.5 percent of his 3-pointers.

Stewart, the LSWA’s two-time Class 2A Outstanding Player, also made 85.7 percent of his free throws. Stewart’s selection marks the seventh straight year a Baton Rouge area player has won the LSWA’s top boys basketball award.

“He is just so special … certainly the best player I have ever coached and the best player this school has had,” Dunham coach Jonathan Pixley said. “There are a lot of guards who can score. But he is the most efficient high school guard I have ever seen in this state who has averaged 30 points a game.”

Stewart also draws praise for his defensive skills and ability to dominate multiple phases of the game. Always a student of the game, he typically was assigned to guard the opponent’s top player.

“There is always something you need to improve on,” Stewart said. “If you are not working to make your game better, your game cannot evolve.”

Stewart’s desire and work ethic were never questioned by opponents.

“He wants to dominate the entire game … offense and defense. He has that mentality and motor to do it,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample, a former Istrouma High and Southern University star, said of Stewart. “That was always my mindset as a player, but I was nowhere near as good.”

And dominate is exactly what Stewart did at the LHSAA tourney. He scored 25 of the Tigers’ 45 points in a semifinal win over Lafayette Christian in Lafayette.

Stewart was even better in the title game. He finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds while scoring nine of the final 10 points in Dunham’s 52-48 victory over top-seeded Isidore Newman in the title game in Lake Charles.

While the numbers and awards are nice, Stewart said winning another title with his Dunham teammates was the greatest motivation and reward in 2020-21.

“Being able to win another title and finish it off with my guys … my teammates means everything,” Stewart said.

La. Farm Bureau Insurance/LSWA Mr. Basketball winners

1996: Lester Earl, Glen Oaks

1997: Marcus Fizer, Arcadia

1998: Stromile Swift, Fair Park

1999: Bernard King, Gibsland Coleman

2000: Chris Duhon, Salmen

2001: Donald Perry, McCall

2002: Darrel Mitchell Jr., St. Martinville

2003: Paul Millsap, Grambling

2004: Glen Davis, University

2005: Tasmin Mitchell, Denham Springs

2006: Demond Carter, Reserve Christian

2007: Greg Monroe, Helen Cox

2008: Greg Monroe, Helen Cox

2009: Joevoskie Mitchell, Zwolle

2010: Markel Brown, Peabody

2011: Ricardo Gathers, Riverside

2012: Dee Wagner, Peabody

2013: Jarell Martin, Madison Prep

2014: Reginal Johnson Jr., Richwood

2015: Brandon Sampson, Madison Prep

2016: Javonte Smart, Scotlandville

2017: Javonte Smart, Scotlandville

2018: Javonte Smart, Scotlandville

2019: Jalen Cook, Walker

2020: Reece Beekman, Scotlandville

2021: Carlos Stewart, The Dunham School