Jalen Suggs made it as official as possible at the moment, signing a letter of intent Wednesday with Gonzaga.
It was another positive sign, no pun intended, among growing indications that Suggs is bound for GU.
The 6-foot-4 point guard from St. Paul, Minnesota, became the most decorated recruit in program history when he orally committed live on ESPN in early January, but he was up front about being open to professional options overseas.
The coronavirus pandemic, which ended Suggs’ senior season just before the start of the state tournament, has put the brakes on the sports world – including pro basketball internationally.
“We haven’t talked to anybody,” said Larry Suggs, Jalen’s father. “Just like everybody, the whole world is shut down, and people called and wanted to have interviews, but it’s different than talking in person.”
The elder Suggs couldn’t rule out the possibility of that changing, but added, “It’s basketball and it’s a business. Right now when people call me, we’re Gonzaga Bulldogs. There’s nothing to really debate about, but if somebody came up with something, we’d listen.”
The NBA G League reportedly plans to sweeten its pitch beyond the $125,000 salary previously offered for top prep players, according to 247sports.
Suggs, rated No. 5 by ESPN and No. 8 in 247sports’ composite rankings, guided Minnehaha Academy to three consecutive state titles.
He earned three gold medals with Team USA at international youth tournaments. The standout quarterback/safety became the first athlete in Minnesota history to win Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball awards in the same season.
“We are very excited to have Jalen join the program,” coach Mark Few said in a school release. “He has a really bright future and I look forward to working with him. It has been great getting to know his family through the process.”
Suggs and incoming recruits Dominick Harris (ranked No. 54 by ESPN) and Julian Strawther (No. 59) are close friends. Gonzaga’s class is No. 10 nationally, according to 247sports.
Suggs averaged 23.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3.9 steals as a senior. He finished his prep career with 2,945 points, 883 rebounds and 735 assists in 154 games.
“I’ve always talked to him about being a leader, and each year is different,” Larry said. “He was leading guys that are his good buddies. Sometimes you have to do it by example and how you play on the floor. This year had to be more about being vocal and communicating, because he was the old guy now.”
Suggs could arrive on campus by mid-June for summer courses, but those plans could change because of the coronavirus outbreak.
For now, Suggs is working out with his father on the backyard hoop, lifting weights and perfecting his video game skills “pretty much like every kid,” Larry said.
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