Michael Stewart (basketball)

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For other people named Michael Stewart, see Michael Stewart (disambiguation).

Michael Curtis "Yogi" Stewart (born April 24, 1975 in Cucq, Pas-de-Calais, France) is a retired American basketball player who last played for the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. Stewart earned his nickname "Yogi" from his brother for his childhood love of Yogi Bear cartoons.

Stewart, son of former Santa Clara standout and European pro Mike Stewart, starred at Kennedy High School in Sacramento, California, leading the Cougars to back-to-back city section titles in 1990 and 1991.

Stewart played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He averaged 4.3 ppg and 4.7 rpg in 117 games and finished as the Bears' all-time leading shot-blocker (207). Stewart set a school record by blocking 59 shots as a freshman in 1993–94 and holds the four best single-season totals for blocks in school history. He never missed a game, playing in all 117 games during his collegiate career and shooting .510 from the field.

At the 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival, Stewart was a member of the bronze medal-winning West team.

Stewart went undrafted and was signed to a one-year contract by the Sacramento Kings on September 11, 1997. This was a dream come true for Michael, as he had served as a ball boy for the Kings in his youth. In 1997–98, he led the Kings in blocked shots and ranked second overall among NBA rookies. He also blocked nine shots in one game. On January 21, 1999, Stewart was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Raptors. During the ensuing offseason, he was re-signed to a six-year, $24 million contract by the team.

In 2002, Stewart was traded from the Raptors (along with a future second round pick) to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Lamond Murray.

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