Chet Holmgreen, Gonzaga-signee and the the No. 1 ranked recruit in the Class of 2021, was announced as the 2020-21 Gatorade National Player of the Year on Wednesday.
Holmgren is a 7’1″ center with a tremendous handle and guard-like ability to facilitate on offense. The Minnesota narrative averaged 20.8 points (on 68.2 percent shooting from the floor), 12.6 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and 4.4 assists last season for the Minnehaha Academy Redhawks, leading them to a 20-1 record and a state championship (his third in his high school career).
He joins prestigious company with this accolade; previous winners of the award include Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Jayson Tatum, among others.
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) June 9, 2021
Holmgren was presented the award by a familiar face; close friend, former Gonzaga Bulldogs star and high school teammate, and projected top-five overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft Jalen Suggs. Suggs surprised Holmgren via Zoom call while Holmgren gathered with a group of family members and friends in Minnesota to celebrate.
Here’s the moment Jalen Suggs told Chet Holmgren he had won the Gatorade National Player of the Year Award:
— Brenna Greene (@BrennaGreene_) June 9, 2021
“I was definitely surprised. To be able to see Jalen pop up on the screen and have a few words for me was definitely very cool,” Holmgren told Yahoo Sports. “This award is right up there [with the top] because it not only recognizes my on-the-court accomplishments, but also my off-the-court stuff with just helping out my community and pushing myself in the classroom.”
Next year, Holmgren will be hoping to replace Suggs, joining a Gonzaga team poised to make another serious run at an NCAA Championship.