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Mr. Football winner Jalen Suggs named Minnesota Mr. Basketball, too

By Jim Paulsen, Star Tribune, 03/18/20, 8:09PM CDT


The Minnehaha Academy star, who will play basketball at Gonzaga, became the first prep athlete to win the award as the state’s top senior in football and basketball.

Minnehaha Academy’s Jalen Suggs dunked against the defense of Willie Wilson of Minneapolis North in a game on Feb. 27 at Minnehaha Academy. Photo: LEILA NAVIDI • leila.navidi@startribune.com

Two days, two big-time awards for Minnehaha Academy guard Jalen Suggs.

One day after winning the McDonald Award, a three-year-old award given out the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association to the top senior in the Minnesota, Suggs was honored Wednesday as the winner of the 2020 Minnesota Mr. Basketball award.

Suggs, the Star Tribune boys’ basketball Metro Player of the Year, is also finalist for the national Naismith Player of the Year award. He is the leading scorer in Minnehaha Academy history with 2,945 career points and helped the Redhawks to three consecutive Class 2A state titles before this season.

The award makes Suggs, who has committed to play basketball at Gonzaga, the first athlete in state history to win the Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball awards in the same year. The Mr. Football award was started in 2004.

The basketball honor was announced on WCCO Radio, where Suggs told host Mike Max that winning both awards in the same year was memorable.

“Winning the Mr. Football award meant a lot to me,” Suggs said. “Now with basketball, put it together with football, it’s special. It doesn’t happen very often. I’m grateful.”

The other finalists for the award were Dawson Garcia of Prior Lake, Ben Carlson of East Ridge, Drake Dobbs of Eden Prairie, and Nathan Heise of Lake City.

The Mr. Basketball award is given out by the Mr. Basketball Committee of Minnesota and has been awarded annually to the top senior player in Minnesota since 1975. Gene Glynn of Waseca was the first winner.

Matthew Hurt of Rochester John Marshall won the award in 2019.

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