Five-star Gonzaga commit Chet Holmgren named Gatorade National Player of the Year | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / September 28.
  • Five-star Gonzaga commit Chet Holmgren named Gatorade National Player of the Year

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    After previously being named the Naismith Boys High School Basketball Player of the Year, five-star Gonzaga commit Chet Holmgren added more hardware on Wednesday. The 7-foot center from Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis was named the 2020-21 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

    Jalen Suggs virtually surprised Holmgren with the news, while his family, coaches and teammates showed up with the trophy at school.

    The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Holmgren as the nation’s best high school boys basketball player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Holmgren from nearly half a million high school basketball players nationwide.

    Holmgren beat out Auburn signee Jabari Smith and uncommitted 2022 center Donovan Clingan for the award.

    “Chet Holmgren was the greatest mismatch in the high school game this past season because of his outside shooting, inside game and physical measurables,” says ESPN National Recruiting Director Paul Biancardi. “At 7-foot-1 and owning an enormous wingspan, he’s a world-class shot blocker. He displays uncommon versatility with his scoring ability, ball-handling, court mobility and footwork. He’s a tremendous teammate and a young man who is humble and respectful, while still playing with an edge. His time at Gonzaga should put him in contention to be the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.”

    Holmgren led the Redhawks to a 20-1 record and the Class AAA state championship this past season. Holmgren averaged 20.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and 4.4 assists while connecting on 68.2 percent of his field-goal attempts. A McDonald’s All-American Game selection, Holmgren is the 2021 Naismith High School Trophy Player of the Year and the nation’s consensus No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2021. He concluded his prep basketball career with 1,567 points, 964 rebounds and 456 blocked shots.        

    A member of his school’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. He has also volunteered on behalf of the Frog Town Boys and Girls Club and as a youth basketball instructor in addition to participating in goodwill/mentorship visits to lower school classrooms at his school.

    Holmgren has maintained a 3.46 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at Gonzaga University this fall.

    “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,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “We take pride in looking at the whole athlete, not just the stats, and Chet is a role model for all of us.”

    Each year a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent in the District of Columbia and all 50 states, choosing national winners in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track and field.

    Gatorade is dedicated to recognizing, supporting and keeping athletes in the game because of the lifelong skills sports instill on and off the field. Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Jayson Tatum, Derek Jeter, Elena Delle Donne and many other sports icons.

    2020-21Chet HolmgrenMinneapolis, MNGonzaga University 
    2019-20Emoni BatesYpsilanti, MIHigh School Junior 
    2018-19James WisemanMemphis, TNGolden State Warriors 
    2017-18RJ BarrettMississauga, ON, CanadaNew York Knicks 
    2016-17Michael Porter Jr.Columbia, MODenver Nuggets 
    2015-16Jayson TatumSt. Louis, MOBoston Celtics 
    2014-15Ben SimmonsMelbourne, AustraliaPhiladelphia 76ers  
    2013-14Karl-Anthony TownsMetuchen, NJMinnesota Timberwolves  
    2012-13Andrew WigginsThornhill, ON, CanadaGolden State Warriors  
    2011-12Jabari ParkerChicago, ILBoston Celtics 
    2010-11Bradley BealSt. Louis, MOWashington Wizards 
    2009-10Brandon KnightFort Lauderdale, FLNBA Free Agent 
    2008-09Brandon KnightFort Lauderdale, FLNBA Free Agent 
    2007-08Jrue HolidayNorth Hollywood, CAMilwaukee Bucks  
    2006-07Kevin LoveLake Oswego, ORCleveland Cavaliers 
    2005-06Greg OdenIndianapolis, INRetired from Miami Heat 
    2004-05Greg OdenIndianapolis, INRetired from Miami Heat 
    2003-04Dwight HowardAtlanta, GAPhiladelphia 76ers 
    2002-03LeBron JamesAkron, OHLos Angeles Lakers 
    2001-02LeBron JamesAkron, OHLos Angeles Lakers 
    2000-01Kelvin TorbertFlint, MIRetired from French Pro A league 
    1999-00Jared JeffriesBloomington, INRetired from Portland Trail Blazers 
    1998-99LaVell BlanchardAnn Arbor, MIRetired from French Pro A league 
    1997-98Al HarringtonElizabeth, NJRetired from Washington Wizards 
    1996-97Baron DavisSanta Monica, CARetired from New York Knicks 
    1995-96Kobe BryantArdmore, PADeceased 
    1994-95Stephon MarburyBrooklyn, NYRetired from Boston Celtics 
    1993-94Felipe LópezNew York, NYRetired from Minnesota Timberwolves 
    1992-93Randy LivingstonNew Orleans, LARetired from Seattle Supersonics 
    1991-92Corliss WilliamsonRussellville, ARRetired from Sacramento Kings 
    1990-91Chris WebberDetroit, MIRetired from Golden State Warriors 
    1989-90Damon BaileyBedford, INRetired from Cleveland Cavaliers 
    1988-89Kenny AndersonJamaica, NYRetired from Los Angeles Clippers 
    1987-88Alonzo MourningChesapeake, VARetired from Miami Heat 
    1986-87LaBradford SmithBay City, TXRetired from Sacramento Kings 
    1985-86J.R. ReidVirginia Beach, VARetired from Cleveland Cavaliers 

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.