'Baby Porzingis' Chet Holmgren named Boys High School Player of the Year

Krysten Peek
·3 min read

Chet Holmgren, the top high school player in the country, has been named the 2021 Morgan Wootten Boys High School Basketball Player of the Year by McDonald’s. Past winners include LeBron James, Ben Simmons, James Wiseman and Evan Mobley. 

Holmgren is a 7-1 center who is averaging 20.6 points, 12.6 rebounds. 5.2 blocks and 4.5 assists per game for Minnehaha Academy (Minnesota). The prestigious award is named after the legendary DeMatha Catholic (Maryland) coach who won multiple high school national championships and won over 1200 games in his storied career.

“It’s definitely an honor to have my name in the same category as some of the past winners,” Holmgren told Yahoo Sports. “I don’t want this to be an end goal. A lot of these big-time players went on to do great things at the next level so I’m just going to work hard to get there and keep building on my career.”

Holmgren is the best shot blocker in high school basketball with his 7-foot-6 wingspan. He went head-to-head with Emoni Bates, who is hailed as the next best prospect coming up since LeBron James, earlier this season. Holmgren was the best player on the court, finishing with 31 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks in a win over Ypsi Prep (Michigan). Holmgren has been called “Baby Porzingis” after Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis, showing glimpses of being another one-of-a-kind unicorn on the court.

CHANDLER, AZ - NOVEMBER 08: Chet Holmgren, from Minnehaha High School, drives to the basket during the Pangos All-American Festival on November 8, 2020 at AZ Compass Prep in Chandler, AZ. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHANDLER, AZ - NOVEMBER 08: Chet Holmgren, from Minnehaha High School, drives to the basket during the Pangos All-American Festival on November 8, 2020 at AZ Compass Prep in Chandler, AZ. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The No. 1-ranked senior in America is still uncommitted and has a final list of Georgetown, Gonzaga, Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio State. Gonzaga is the favored school with Holmgren’s former high school teammate Jalen Suggs leading the undefeated Zags to the Final Four.

“I already know there’s a lot of people that are going to tell Jalen, ‘Do this, do that’ in games. I’m never going to tell him what to do in games, he’s a great player,” Holmgren added. “I just tell him to be aggressive and to play his game and bring home that [national championship] so I can work out the rest of the spring with a champion.”

Gonzaga has made the Final Four for the second time in four years and is two games away from being the first team to go undefeated and with the national championship since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.

“I’ve been watching how Jalen and the coaches approach every game and trying to see how I could fit into the offense and defense next season. This has been an incredible run for them. I’m just trying to figure out what will be the best decision for me on and off the court,” Holmgren said.

Holmgren insists a decision date is coming soon. If he does choose the Zags over the rest of his final schools, he will be joining five-star Hunter Sallis, four-star Kaden Perry and will become the highest-rated player to ever commit to Mark Few and the Gonzaga program. The Zags have dominated the WCC for 25 years and with the recruiting wins Few and his staff have landed the last three years, Gonzaga is in a great position to make multiple Final Four runs in the future.

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