EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Tristen Newton’s name belongs up there with Jim Forbes, Cliff Tucker Roman Martinez, KJ Lewis and others among the best high school basketball players El Paso has ever seen.
Four years after graduating from Burges, Newton is tearing up the Big East for a nationally-ranked UConn team – and breaking records – just like he did with the Mustangs.
It was a moment El Paso will remember for a long time: Feb. 1, 2019, when Newton broke the 3,000-point mark with a dunk during a Burges win over Austin.
Nearly four years to the day since that record-breaking night, Newton went nuts for No 21 UConn on Tuesday with a triple double – 12 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds – in a win over No. 10 Marquette.
It was Newton’s second triple double of the season for the Huskies, making him the first UConn player – male or female – to accomplish the feat.
“It means a lot. This program has a lot of history. There’s been a lot of greats that have come through here,” Newton said. “Knowing about them, knowing about this program, that’s part of why I came here to do things like this and try to put my imprint on UConn.”
Breaking records is nothing new for Newton, but his path to a top-25 team hasn’t been short. Scarcely recruited out of high school, he went to East Carolina for three years, leading the Pirates in scoring in 2021-22.
Now, he’s where he always wanted to be and he did it his way.
“My mom tells me everything happens for a reason. I went to ECU for a reason and it was a big step in me getting to where I am now. Everything happens for a reason and I’m glad it happened that way,” Newton said.
Newton is coming into his own of late; he’s scored in double figures in each of the last six games as UConn has won four out of their last five.
“I tell him every day that we can be the best backcourt in the nation just playing the way we’ve been playing,” said Huskies guard Jordan Hawkins. “Just getting guys open shots, getting our own shots. He does a great job of creating for himself and for the team.”
UConn harbors hopes of a deep NCAA Tournament run next month and Newton is at the center of those hopes. They’re 10-2 when he scores in double-figures.
The Huskies appear to have found their form again, after a swoon in January and Newton hopes they can keep it that way.
“Not too long ago we were the number 2 team in the country. I feel like we’re still that same team and we can go as far as we want to in the tournament,” Newton said.
With averages of 10.5 points, four assist and four rebounds per game, Newton and the Huskies will play No. 24 Creighton on Saturday at 10 a.m. MT on FOX.