Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 high school basketball player in the country, is headed to Gonzaga. Holmgren is the highest-rated recruit Mark Few has landed in his 22 years as head coach. The 7-foot-1 center chose the Zags over Minnesota, Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina, Memphis, Georgetown and the G League.
Holmgren averaged 20.6 points, 12.6 rebounds. 5.2 blocks and 4.5 assists per game for Minnehaha Academy (Minnesota) and won three state championships during his high school career.
"Mark Few told me to come in willing to learn and work hard and they were going to put me in a position to be successful," Holmgren said after committing to Gonzaga.
Holmgren played high school basketball with Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs, who could offer some insider information on the team and playing for coach Few. Suggs was a five-star recruit who averaged 14.4 points and 4.5 assists per game his freshman year, and he is considered a top-five pick in the upcoming 2021 NBA draft.
“Me and Jalen talk all the time. It’s been good to hear things from a player’s perspective with how things are run in practice and stuff like that. He’s definitely been in my ear about Gonzaga,” Holmgren told Yahoo Sports earlier this year. “I’ve been watching how Jalen and the coaches approach every game and trying to see how I could fit into the offense and defense next season.”
There has never been a player like Holmgren on the high school scene. He’s a 7-footer who can handle the ball like a guard and shoot from the outside but also drop down low in the post with his nice touch around the rim. Defensively, he’s the best shot blocker in America, even upstaging Emoni Bates in a game earlier this season. Holmgren has been criticized for his slight frame and size but he brushes it off and ignores all the noise.
“Most of the people that tell me that I’m too skinny are people on Twitter and have never seen me play basketball in person or understand basketball to begin with,” Holmgren told Yahoo Sports. “At the end of the day, I’m not too worried about what they’re saying. I’m just going to do me and keep working on my game.”
Holmgren is joining the No. 7-ranked player, Hunter Sallis, and four-star power forward Kaden Perry in a monster recruiting class for Gonzaga. The Zags have dominated the WCC for 25 years and have made the NCAA tournament 22 years in a row. Gonzaga has started to recruit like a blue-blood program and Few has found the balance of the best one-and-done talent paired with older, experienced players. The Zags might have lost the title game to Baylor earlier this month but Holmgren could be the player to lead them on a championship run next season.
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