Jalen Suggs surprises Chet Holmgren with Gatorade Boys POY Award
Chet Holmgren has spent the last couple of years dominating competition across the nation. Now, he has some additional hardware to add to his already crowded trophy case.
Holmgren was named Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year on Wednesday. Jalen Suggs, a former teammate of Holmgren’s at Minnehaha Academy in Minnesota and a close friend of the seven-footer, virtually surprised Holmgren with the news while Holmgren’s friends, family, teammates and coaches presented him with the trophy at school.
“I’m so excited for it, so happy that I get to be part of presenting this prestigious award,” Suggs told USA Today High School Sports. “It shows not only how good of a basketball player is, but also as a person. A student. A figure and a member of the community. I couldn’t be happier to be part of this presentation.”
Holmgren led Minnehaha to a Minnesota Class AAA state championship this past season, averaging 20.8 points on 68.2% from the field, 12.6 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and 4.4 assists. Holmgren will leave Minnehaha Academy with four state championships to his name and 1,567 career points, 964 career rebounds and career 456 blocked shots.
“He’s one of a kind,” Suggs said. “He’s a generational talent. He’s someone who can do everything and I mean that, 100%. If you need a three, he’ll hit a three. He’ll get a rebound and get you out in transition. He’ll get you a bucket in the low paint. He can take a big off the dribble. Defensively, he is the best defender in the country. There’s no easy buckets when Chet is in the paint.”
Holmgren gained notoriety throughout his high school career for his multi-faceted skill set and domination on a nightly basis, but also starred off the court during his time at Minnehaha. A member of Minnehaha’s Leadership Institute, a three-year discipleship and leadership-training program, Holmgren has donated his time to week-long tutoring and classroom-assistant duties at local elementary schools as part of Minnehaha Academy’s cultural field experience.
Holmgren has also maintained a 3.46 GPA in the classroom throughout his academic career.
“We are recognizing Chet as the best high school boys basketball player in the nation because of his dedication to performing on the court, in the classroom and in the community,” Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien said. “We take pride in looking at the whole athlete, not just the stats, and Chet is a role model for all of us.”