By Madisen Carter
Stanford men's basketball player, Isa Silva, is ready to take on his first season as a Cardinal. He has put in a lot of work throughout his basketball career to get where he is at today and says he is ready to finally have a full regular season of basketball again.
Silva’s last season of high school basketball did not go as planned due to the COVID pandemic. Because he was unsure if his basketball team at Jesuit High School would have a season, he decided to play his last season with Prolific Prep of Napa Christian, while still taking on his academics at Jesuit.
After playing around five games with Prolific, Silva went back to Jesuit because of the opportunity Jesuit had of having a basketball season again. Although the season Jesuit had was not a full season, Silva was still able to play the game he loves and put up numbers. In the 11 games Silva played with Jesuit, he finished with 141 points, 67 rebounds and 41 assists.
When Silva had a full season with Jesuit as a junior, in 30 games Silva finished the year with 555 points. He averaged 18.5 points per game, as well as 4.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.
During quarantine, that was when Silva and Unlimited Potential Basketball’s Coach Packie Turner got connected. Silva said once he left Prolific, that was when started driving up to Burlingame from Sacramento two to three times a week to put work in at the UPB gym.
“[Coach Packie and I] just really clicked. [We] had a good bond, really focused on shooting [and] really focused on skill work stuff [that] I want for the next level and to play in the NBA,” Silva said. “Our relationship is great, he’s like [a] big bro. He's been [a] really instrumental piece in my development so far.”
Back in April 2020 is when Silva committed to Stanford University over schools including Arizona, Colorado, Vanderbilt and USC. The Sacramento Native announced on his Twitter account the big news with a three and a half minute YouTube video that gave thanks to everyone who has helped him along the way in his basketball journey and ended with his decision of commitment. The tweet did numbers and had 149 retweets and 379 likes.
“Being creative is really important to me. So yeah, I just wanted to do something special [and] I know it's a big moment for me,” Silva said. “I like being different, so I wanted to do something that hadn't been done, especially with our free time with COVID. It was really fun doing that.”
Silva said there were many reasons why he chose Stanford over the other schools that he had offers from. Being around his support system was one of his main reasons along with Stanford’s environment. The coaches of the basketball team were also a key point for his decision to attend Stanford.
“One of the reasons I chose Stanford was because of the coaches, you know, they believe in me, it's like a family. I feel like I've known them for a long time,” Silva said. “They were recruiting me the longest out of any school that was recruiting me. So that trust is really real, and I can feel it every day.”
Last year, months after Silva committed, the Stanford Men’s Basketball Twitter account tweeted what head coach, Jerod Haase, had to say about Silva and his skill set:
“Isa is a true point guard with a great feel for the game and high basketball IQ. His playmaking ability is rare, having the ability to create opportunities for others and himself. He has worked on his strength recently and that is allowing him to score at all three levels, which is really exciting and should carry over to the college game immediately. On the defensive end, Isa will fit into our developing identity. One of the cool parts about Isa is he is constantly seeking ways to better himself and his team, and that drive is special.”
Silva arrived at the Stanford campus around the middle of June and worked out with the team for two months. He said there were a lot of practices with the team as well as lifting weights and conditioning. Putting up a lot of shots and working on his muscle memory was a big part of Silva’s training as well.
Silva has big goals for his college career. Silva said his biggest goal during his time at Stanford is winning a Pac 12-Championship and taking Stanford back to the NCAA tournament. He also wants to add more NBA players to their lineage. For his freshman season, he is looking forward to the success as well as the adversity the year brings.
“I'm looking forward to just having a [full] season again. I haven’t had a full season in a long time,” Silva said. “[I am also looking forward to] having a lot of success and also having a lot of struggle. I think it's all a part of it and I'm looking forward to both.”
Stanford’s basketball season starts November 9th when they host Tarleton State. Until then, Isa will be putting in work practicing, preparing and continuing to play the game he loves.
“[Playing basketball is] just the place where I feel at ease, I feel peace. It’s something I love getting better at every day. I feel it just helps me in life, you know, helps me be a better person,” Silva said. “I feel like when I'm a better person and I'm more humble and respectful, that translates to the basketball court, and vice versa. It's just the place where I feel God's presence and I just feel a lot of power and feel happy.”