Spokane Bound: Zags Snag America’s #1 High School Hoop Recruit
Chet Holmgren, this year's consensus top men's college basketball recruit, has selected Gonzaga University in Spokane to begin his college career. Sure it'll be one and done, just like Jalen Suggs, but wouldn't you want the best player coming out of high school in America on your team even for a little bit?
It doesn't completely remove the sting of a NCAA Championship Title Game loss to Baylor, but you've got to start again somewhere, and landing this guy will certainly help salve the wound of losing one game all year, at the very end, to bring the dream of a storybook undefeated ending crashing back to reality.
Holmgren is 7-foot-1 and he is incredibly difficult to defend because he's so multidimensional. He will immediately bring the Zags right back into the national title contention talk. There is no official word on whether Drew Timme will be back, but insiders are saying he's leaning toward staying, and with the addition of this new big fella, Gonzaga should once again be dominant, maybe even more so than this pervious season when the Zags lead the nation in scoring per game.
Holmgren actually was a teammate of Gonzaga super-freshman Jalen Suggs, who is expected to leave the Bulldogs and enter the NBA draft, when they played AAU basketball in Minnesota together.
He can direct and handle the ball like a guard, hit the three consistently enough that you have to go out to defend him, he can finish strong inside with athleticism rarely seen from a man this tall and rangy, but maybe his biggest strength is his shot-blocking ability on defense.
Holmgren significantly raised his awareness last summer at a NBA All-Star summer camp when a posted YouTube video showcased him taking superstar Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors off the dribble on a behind-the-back drive before soaring to the rack for the flush. Yeah, that went viral. You can check that out below:
Holmgren has garnered several national award accolades this year and picked Gonzaga over other powerhouse hoop schools like Georgetown and North Carolina. Also making Holmgren's finalist cut were the Buckeyes of THE Ohio State University, Michigan, Memphis and the Minnesota Golden Gophers, but alas, Chet won't participate for the state where he played his high school ball. Next stop: Gonzaga and a national title run re-load.
Growing up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I wonder if Chet has ever had the chance to scope a sweet Minnesota spread that a Twins Major League Baseball star has put up for sale, maybe, maybe not, but the following gallery could be used as an inspiration once he signs that big professional contract in 2022.