SPOKANE, Wash. — Monday was a big day for Gonzaga fans as the number one recruit in the country, Chet Holmgren, committed to Gonzaga’s basketball team and then hours later Jalen Suggs entered his name into the NBA Draft.
Just because Suggs is leaving the program though, doesn't mean he's not proud of the months he spent in Spokane.
"I can call it my alma mater now," said Jalen Suggs with a big grin in an exclusive interview with KREM.
"You didn’t graduate yet," said Chet Holmgren in response.
"Bro, that’s my alma mater. That’s where I went to school," retorted Suggs.
However, Suggs did say that when it came to Chet Holmgren’s college decision, he tried to stay out of the way as much as possible.
Chet did ask Jalen questions about Gonzaga though, which Chet says helped guide him along the way.
"Him going there and being able to experience it and answer any questions I had or anything I wasn’t quite sure about, being able to get that from someone that’s close to you, really holds weight," said Chet.
Chet last talked to Mark Few on Sunday night before he committed on Monday. They both talked about how excited they are and how ready they are to get to work.
As for Jalen’s most recent conversation with Few? It happened before he left campus right after the national championship.
"He told me he’d always be there for me however long down the line it is. That’s one of the best things about the program is that once you’re a Zag, you're always a Zag. You’re always going to be a part of that family," said Suggs.
Speaking of family, that extend to the fans.
"It’s hard to put into a sentence or a paragraph how thankful I am," Suggs said of his message to Gonzaga fans. "They embraced me, and I embraced the culture. I embraced all of them, and there wasn’t a fit that could’ve matched or equaled what Gonzaga did for me," said Suggs.
"I’d just like to say I know how great all the Zags fans are," said Holmgren of his message. "They’re very lively on Twitter and social media. They’re definitely always trying to help recruit and cheer on the Zags. I’m just going to say be ready for next year. I’m excited for what’s to come."
What’s to come for Chet could include winning Gonzaga’s first ever national championship.
Chet’s ready for that challenge, and Jalen’s ready for Chet to finish off the mission that he began.
"Anywhere I go, I expect to win," said the four-time Minnesota state champion. "That’s the standard that I set out for myself. I really hate losing more than I like winning, but that culminates into winning. That’s definitely the end goal next year."
"To see him go there and be successful and bring that back to the city, it’d be great," said Suggs.