Jalen Suggs- #1 Player in the Nation class of 2020

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By Javier Touusaint

Jalen Suggs #1 Ranked Player Class of 2020 Minnehaha!  Best 8th grader in the Nation! 

Photo Credit: Aaron Edwards jalen 1jalen 2

How old were you when you realized you were more than just pretty good as a basketball player?

JS: I was in my second year of playing 10-and-under basketball. I started playing more and getting my team involved. Since I was small, I was a point guard and always could handle the ball well.

First time you made a basket. Do you remember that moment? How old were you?

JS: I think I was 6, when I was playing against third- and fourth-graders. I was in kindergarten. I made a three-pointer.

You’re already a talented player. How much better do you think you’ll be as a senior?

JS: I think I’ll be a lot better. Right now, I think I’m pretty good, but I have a lot to improve on. I’ll get stronger and have better moves.

When did you start hearing from colleges?

JS: I have a couple of mailings. I went to visit UW-Milwaukee when I was in sixth grade. I went to the campus and met the coaches. My seventh-grade year, I got a letter from Memphis. I have three or four letters. My dad doesn’t really tell me about them. He tells me to stay focused.

Do you have a preference of where you’d like to go?

JS: No, not really. I’d like to go to college for free. That’s my main goal.

Will Minnesota be in the running?

JS: Yeah, Minnesota definitely will be in the running. I’d love to get that program started. I’ve met some of the coaches. They’ll definitely be in the top group.

Have you talked to Tyus Jones or any other elite high school player about the process and what is ahead for you?

JS: Not really about the process. But I’ve talked to a lot of them. I’m friends with the Jones family.

You’re averaging more than 17 points a game as an eighth-grader. What do you think — 30 to 40 points a game as a senior?

JS: That’d be great to average 40 points, but I’d say 20-something. I’d love to have nine assists and nine rebounds, too.

Why stop at nine assists and nine rebounds? Why not 10 and 10 so you can average triple doubles?

JS: That’d be great, too.

Is point guard your best position?

JS: I think I’m a good point guard. If a team needed me to play shooting guard, I can still do that. I think I can fit in wherever they need me.

You’re also a quarterback, and a good one from what I hear. Any chance you’ll focus on football instead of basketball?

JS: I’m going to play football all the way through high school. It’s going to come down to which has the better offers.

Are you better in football or basketball?

JS: I don’t know, honestly. People who haven’t seen me play basketball say I can go Division I in football.

You’re a little taller than 6-foot-2 now. Many kids have a growth spurt during their freshman year. How tall do you expect to be?

JS: My dad tells me the doctors told him I’d be about 6-6. Hopefully, I’ll be that big.

Why did you pick Minnehaha Academy?

JS: I really like the coaching staff. I’d have tournaments here when I was in the third grade. I created a tight bond with the coach and his family.

Was it always part of the plan to play at a school with your two friends, Kaden Johnson and Terry Lockett (also eighth-graders on the varsity)?

JS: Yeah, definitely. Every since we’ve been little, we’ve been role playing about playing in the state championships.

How many state titles do you hope to win?

JS: I hope to start this year and win out.

Are you playing a lot of AAU basketball over the summer?

JS: Yeah. I’m playing with two different teams.

Suggs is a well-known name in sports. There’s Minneapolis native Terrell Suggs from the NFL, Washington State point guard Renard Suggs, who went to Woodbury. Are you related?

JS: I’m related to both of them. They’re both cousins.

So have you mapped out your athletic career already?

JS: I kind of want to be like Bo Jackson and be a two-sport athlete. I don’t really want to give up football or basketball.

Do you also play baseball?

JS: I pitch and play third base. I’m OK at baseball. I think I’m pretty good but definitely not as good as in football and basketball.

Is there something you’d like to be besides an athlete?

JS: I’d like to be an ESPN journalist or statistician. I just want to be involved in sports.

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