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College countdown narrows as 7-foot Chet Holmgren adds polish to his game

By RON HAGGSTROM, Star Tribune , 06/26/20, 7:15PM CDT


The 7-foot Minnehaha Academy senior, rated the top boys' basketball prospect in the nation, included Minnesota among his seven final schools to consider.

Minnehaha Academy 7-foot center Chet Holmgren on Friday announced his seven finalists for college, with the Gophers among the contenders. Photo: Brian Peterson * brian.peterson@startribune.com

Chet Holmgren grew six inches in eighth grade, a painful spurt that helped define the Minnehaha Academy 7-footer, now considered the top boys’ basketball recruit in the nation.

“Chet’s greatest attribute is how athletic he is,” Minnehaha Academy coach Lance Johnson said of his returning senior, who recently moved up to the No. 1 boys’ basketball recruit in the nation according to ESPN. “That sudden growth spurt didn’t affect him athletically. What it showed was his mental toughness.”

Agile and versatile on both ends of the court, Holmgren isn’t imposing at first blush. But he’s still intimidating, especially on defense with his nearly 90-inch wingspan to swat away presumably uncontested shots. More suited as a wing than a low-post player, he also can run the floor, filling the lane for a slam dunk or pull up and bury a three-pointer with his feathery touch.

While his recruiting stock has gone up, Holmgren’s list for a future college home narrowed Friday when he announced his final choices in a Twitter post showing seven college jerseys.

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