Chet Holmgren is the center of attention for No. 1 Gonzaga

Spokane, WA (AP) — Every summer, they meet in Seattle. Occasionally a mix of professionals, even outstanding players from colleges and high schools associated with the region.

The destination is a summer pro-Am run by former NBA star Jamal Crawford. And after Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren visited for the first time this summer, Crawford immediately received high praise.

“It was unrealistic to see a unicorn in real life!” Crawford tweeted in August. “Chetholm Glen is special.”

After three months of fast-forwarding, top-ranked Gonzaga may have downplayed all the “unicorn” talks, but unlike what was gained in the Bulldog program, Holmgren is a special talent. it is clear.

Holm Glen is a 7-foot freshman with wing ball handling, a point guard court feel, and dominant internal strength and athletic performance.

And the biggest stage of his young career is this week when the bulldog travels to Las Vegas for three games. It is highlighted by the final four rematch with the 2nd UCLA on Tuesday and the clash with the 7th Duke on Friday.

Some of the top players in the country will be featured in the Las Vegas match. But the most unique talent on the court will be Gonzaga’s freshman star.

“We oppose the top of the top. We know what we are made of,” Holmgren said.

Gonzaga’s profile has grown rapidly over the last decade, but has changed its scope nationwide over the past few years due to the caliber of recruits that Zags has landed on. It started a year ago when Jalen Suggs played a year-long college ball in Gonzaga and continued when his best friend took him to Spokane.

However, Holmglen, who came to Gonzaga, was one step ahead of Sags. He is the number one new employee in a country that has chosen a school 1,400 miles west.

Brian Michaelson, Gonzaga’s assistant coach, said: “That’s why we have to adapt to what we’re doing, so choose the type of person who has that type of one-year talent.”

Holmglen’s unique size quickly stands out, but his new teammates are looking at other aspects of his game that are just as important to his success.

“I think it’s just his IQ and diversity. He looks at the game really well. He’s looking at the whole court, not just part of the court,” said Gonzaga forward Drew Timme. Said. “The way he gets to his actions and finds what he sees in court and his size teammates is something we don’t really see.”

“He’s investing in getting really good and he’s not just one of those living beyond his height,” added teammate Andrew Nemberd. “He wants to keep improving and there is something to prove. That’s what I like about him.”

Part of the hype, and wanting to soften the “unicorn” comment, is Gonzaga’s director Mark Few. Few have warned new students of patience, knowing the level of expectations that will continue.

“I think everyone really needs to put up with Chet,” said a few. “He’s very skilled, really, really smart, and a worker. He’s still in progress, he has to adjust for his body. It’s so unique, he We are in the process of adapting to how physical this game is and how to find success in that physicality around us.

“I think everyone is backflowing some things, and maybe they really don’t see him that much. That’s what I say.”

However, few people understand that talents like Holmglen aren’t widely available, and that his time at Gonzaga can last only one season. It’s important to use his skills in the best possible way with a talented team.

So far, Holmgren seems to have found his way well. Gonzaga’s competition has been quite pedestrian so far, with the exception of a compelling victory over Texas, where Holmglen was hit by a foul trouble and played for only nine minutes.

“He’s a generational talent, which means it’s unrealistic what he can do at his size,” Timme said. “I enjoyed playing with him and taking different actions. I think we really complement each other very well.”


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