SPOKANE, Wash. — Last week, many state-level Gatorade basketball Player of the Year awards were announced.
Today, Gonzaga legend Jalen Suggs surprised soon-to-be Gonzaga legend Chet Holmgren with the news that he was being named the Gatorade National Player of the Year over Zoom.
"He’s like my little brother. He’s like my little big brother, if you will," said Jalen with a chuckle of 7' Chet Holmgren.
That means Holmgren’s big little brother was the perfect person to tell him on Wednesday that he had won then prestigious award.
"It was definitely very cool. It caught me by surprise," said Chet of Jalen announcing to him that he was named Gatorade NPOY. "I knew coming in what the event stuff was about, but to see Jalen hop on the Zoom call and be able to have a few words and present me with the trophy-- It was actually pretty cool to receive it from a close friend and teammate of mine."
That close friend and teammate was effusive when presenting Chet with the honor.
"Really just to see your growth, man-- I know we joke around a lot. I know we keep things really casual-- but seriously, man, it's been great to see your journey. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. Coming to me and allowing me to help teach you but also you teach me a lot of things. Congratulations. I'm proud of you, man, and enjoy this one," said Jalen.
"I appreciate that. I appreciate all the words," responded Chet.
There is also an appreciation between the duo for where they, specifically Chet, has been and where he is now.
"Having him come in in the third grade with his collar shirt and khaki shorts and not being able to do a three-man weave to now where he’s at his senior year, best player in the country going to the best team in the country, and going to work there at Gonzaga, it’s been so much fun and a pleasure, honestly," recalled Jalen.
"He's kind of watched me grow up over the years. Grow up a lot, actually," said Chet while laughing.
And they will both continue to grow to potentially household name heights, but for today, they enjoyed the now.
"I'm proud of you," said Jalen to Chet. "I'm enjoying watching your journey, I'm going to enjoy watching your journey onto the the next level, and I'll see you at the top, man."