On December 11th Minnehaha Academy (MN) will take to their home hardwood against Hopkins in what is sure to be a sensational opener, and if you want to see a show, get there early and grab your popcorn. Why? Because you won’t want to miss your chance to watch one of the nation’s best players in the 2020 class go to work on the basketball court with his team. Jalen Suggs (Team Sizzle) has been making a name for himself on the grassroots circuit for several years now, but his hard work and his talents have garnered him recognition as one of the top prep basketball players in the country with a horde of schools vying for a commitment.

Suggs, a 6’5” and 195-pound guard out of Minneapolis, MN, had another tremendous AAU season this past year to continue demonstrating to the best programs around that their focus on him is warranted. Having already established himself as a prime target for schools, Suggs played even more loose and his game really flourished with the. But he also got to enjoy his time with his teammates, several of whom he has played with for years and developed a bond with on and off the court. “The biggest highlight for me was spending time with my brothers, and seeing them succeed and receive scholarship offers… there’s truly nothing better,” Suggs said regarding this past spring and summer, and showing the type of leader he is with his teams.

On a skill and talent level, not many can match what Suggs brings to the table, with a blend of guard skills where he is as deadly with the ball in his hands as he can be without it. He has premier level handles which at his size constantly puts him at advantage against most guards, and when he’s not bringing it up, he understands the offense and how to get open coming off screens and such. His toughness and instincts also come through on each end of the court as Suggs can disrupt opponents with his length and athleticism on the defensive end, and then play at each level of the offense making plays on the perimeter or making the difficult play taking it to the teeth of a defense where he can score in a variety of ways. “I think my biggest strength is my versatility… being able to do whatever needs to be done at any given time,” the standout combo guard commented. His ability to shoot the ball from deep without needing much space makes him a challenge to defend anytime out, because there isn’t anything one can try to take away to stop him, as he has shown the patience and aggressiveness combined to make the right play.

Those skills and his basketball intelligence, and his mental toughness on the floor, are what have colleges salivating at getting him in one of their uniforms in a couple years. Suggs is a player capable of changing a game at any moment, whether it’s need to stretch a lead and send the other team home with some daggers down the stretch, or making a timely play to help his team regain momentum and come-back when down. He thrives when his team is counting on him with the game on the line. With little in his game to not be confident in, Suggs did say he is just hard at work in the gym still making his jump shot more and more consistent.

His accomplishments and the way he plays, as aforementioned, has all equaled out to 17 scholarship offers already. Those offers have come from the following:  Baylor, California, Clemson, Creighton, Florida, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Marquette, Texas Tech, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, UCLA, Wake Forest, and Xavier. For the meantime, Suggs is just enjoying school and competing at an extremely high level in basketball, as well as in football (where he is also receiving major interest from schools), and letting the recruitment process take its course. Suggs stated “I’m taking a visit to UCLA and Arizona soon, also Notre Dame and Alabama for football… The whole process is lots of fun.”

Beyond the recruiting, Suggs has enjoyed some unbelievable games over the last couple years. The most memorable being “the state championship... really the whole team played amazing… we had to withstand and go on runs of our own and got our second state championship in a row. (27-9-8)” Now the 6’5” star athlete is focused on the next one though. “The main goal for this season is to definitely get our 3rd state championship in a row,” he said, adding that he also just wants to become the best player he can be by getting better each day.

As for where that drive comes from and what continues to push him forward, keeps him in the gym and/or on the field, in school and fighting to improve himself in everything he does, Suggs said it’s all about family. “What motivates me is not only my competitive nature, but my family and ones who’ve passed… Not only do I want to help my family out but I also want to make those proud who have passed away that I know are looking down on my each and every day.”

So as I said in the beginning, get to the gym early, grab some popcorn, find a good seat and be ready to go, because Jalen Suggs is geared up to put on a show.