Before the Orlando Magic matched up against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday at Target Center, Jalen Suggs’ high school presented him with a unique honor.
Minnehaha Academy, where Suggs graduated from in 2020, held a ceremony Thursday night ahead of its boy’s varsity basketball game to retire his basketball and football jerseys.
“A lot of great memories in this gym,” Suggs said. “A lot of great games, practices. Family and friends all are here, and this night is above all of it. To have everybody come back, be here for me — it’s a product of everything they’ve done for me. Their love, their support, they’ve been with me every step of the way — [not just] as a basketball player, football player, but as a human. It’s a special night.”
Suggs got an early start to playing for Minnehaha’s top boys basketball team, earning a spot on the varsity team as a seventh-grader which is allowed in Minnesota.
He led Minnehaha to three straight Minnesota Class 2A state titles as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
The Redhawks won a sectional title the day before the state tournament was canceled during Suggs’ senior season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Suggs was named a McDonald’s All-American as a senior.
Suggs also was a star quarterback and defensive back for SMB Wolfpack — a co-op football program among four independent schools, including Minnehaha. He led SMB Wolfpack to their lone state championship as a junior and led them back to the championship game the next season.
As a senior, Suggs became the first athlete to win Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball and Mr. Football awards in the same season.
He starred at Gonzaga before the Magic chose him fifth in the 2021 NBA draft.
Minnehaha showed highlights of Suggs’ high school career before presenting him with his four retired jerseys — two from each sport.
The gym was packed with family, friends and former high school teammates of Suggs. Oklahoma City Thunder center Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft and a Minnehaha teammate, attended.
All of Suggs’ Magic teammates and coaches appeared, too, along with president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and general manager John Hammond.
“It meant the world [to me]” Suggs said. “Those are my brothers. To have them come and share this moment with me, whenever there [are] pictures or videos of this night, they’re going to be right in the background of that. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
“It was great,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “That’s a young kid who’s done so much for the high school [and] the city. The great thing about it was he thanked everyone that was a part of what he had done.”
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.
Source: Berkshire mont
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