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Gonzaga recruit Chet Holmgren finalist for Naismith prep player of the year

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 18, 2021

Gonzaga recruit Chet Holmgren, the No. 1-ranked prospect in the 2021 class, is one of five finalists for the Naismith Trophy High School Player of the Year.

Gonzaga is among seven schools on Holmgren’s list of finalists. The Zags are considered the favorites to land the 7-foot center from Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, according to crystal ball projections of 247sports’ seven recruiting analysts.

Other finalists include Paolo Banchero, O’Dea High (Seattle); Emoni Bates, Ypsi Prep Academy (Ypsilanti, Michigan); Jaden Hardy, Coronado High (Henderson, Nevada); and Jabari Smith Jr., Sandy Creek High (Tyrone, Georgia).

Holmgren was teammates with Gonzaga freshman point guard Jalen Suggs at Minnehaha and on the AAU circuit. Suggs was a finalist for the Naismith prep award last year. Suggs, Corey Kispert and Drew Timme are on the list of 30 candidates for the Naismith Trophy.

Gonzaga recruit Hunter Sallis, a 6-5 combo guard from Omaha, Nebraska, was among 10 semifinalists. According to 247sports’ crystal ball projections, Gonzaga is the favorite (77%) over Kentucky (23%) for Sallis. Two weeks ago, 247sports had Gonzaga as a 53.8% favorite with Kentucky at 46.2%. 

GU commit Kaden Perry nominated for McDonald’s game

Holmgren, Sallis and Gonzaga commit Kaden Perry are among roughly 300 boys nominated for the McDonald’s All-American game.

Perry, a senior at Battle Ground High, is one of 21 players nominated from Washington. The 6-foot-9 forward Perry averaged 23.7 points, 15.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks last season. As a sophomore, he led Battle Ground to its first state tournament appearance since 2002.

The 24-player final rosters will be announced later this month but the game will not be played this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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