Video: Jalen Suggs highlights
Watch the Gonzaga-bound, two-sport standout on the hardwood.
Now you can add more non-Minnesota contemporary stars such as Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray and Lonzo Ball into the mix.
That's because Suggs is the 2019-20 MaxPreps Male Athlete of the Year, joining Mahomes (2013-14), Murray (2014-15), Ball (2015-16) along with eight others to be picked as the very best in the country.
A MaxPreps first-team basketball All-American headed to Gonzaga, Suggs led the Red Hawks to a 26-3 record and No. 13 national ranking. This coming after he was named Mr. Minnesota as the best football player in the state during the fall.
Those back-to-back seasons aren't easy, but Suggs, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound quarterback in football and shooting guard in basketball, is a rare athlete.
MaxPreps historian and senior writer Kevin Askeland, who last year named the five most dominant athletes in Minnesota history
, said Suggs' prep credentials are impeccable.
"I would say that puts him probably among the top five athletes in Minnesota history based solely on his high school honors," Askeland said. "(Mauer) would be the top since he was national Player of the Year in two sports, but Suggs' accomplishment is certainly noteworthy, especially in this age of specialization."
As a secondary sport, Suggs passed for 2,213 yards and 25 touchdowns, rushed for 978 yards and 12 more scores. Defensively, he logged nine interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. He did so for SMB, a cooperative of Minnehaha Academy with St. Paul Academy and Blake, leading the team to the state finals.
With his career path clearly paved toward basketball, he still received seven football scholarship offers, including Ohio State and Georgia.
Straight from the gridiron, Suggs took to the hardwood and averaged 23.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.0 rebounds and 3.9 steals per game. The Red Hawks were off toward a fourth straight state championship, but like much of America, the coronavirus pandemic cut their season short.
His final prep effort was a 30-point effort in a 94-58 win over Totino-Grace to grab the state's 3A Section 4 title. Since 2016-17, Suggs has led the Red Hawks to a 111-15 record with three straight state 2A titles. He finished with 2,945 career points, 883 rebounds, 735 assists, 509 steals and 103 blocked shots in 154 career games, playing also as an eighth-grader.
Known as a fierce competitor — "the most competitive kid I've ever coached," Minnehaha coach Lance Johnson said — Suggs mellowed down the stretch of his senior year. He told twincities.com that his final game was perhaps his most enjoyable. He knew it was the end.
"I just tried to enjoy myself, have a good time with my brothers one last time and play as best as I could," he said. "I can't think of a better way to go out. We all had tons of fun, we had a lot of good plays, a lot of highlights, and throughout the whole game we were laughing and smiling together. I think that's what made it so special."
Johnson told mnbasketballhub.com though his star player was a "man among boys (who) overpowers people right now," Suggs off the court is "a gentleman and very humble. He turned our athletic program around."
MaxPreps national basketball editor Jordan Divens said Suggs made "an impact on the court in so many ways — scoring, rebounds, finding the open man or making steals. He's just so very versatile. He's super athletic but also very strong and smart. He doesn't force things. He makes open shots.
"The blend of everything always makes him the best player on the court."
He was the very best in the country, while beating out these standouts:
Emoni Bates, Lincoln (Ypsilanti, Mich.):
The 6-9 wing was the first sophomore to win the MaxPreps boys basketball National Player of the Year award after averaging 32.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
Nash Hutmacher, Chamberlain (S.D.):
A three-time All-State football player headed to Nebraska was also a four-time state wrestling champion who posted a 166-0 career record. He didn't get to defend his state shot put title due to COVID-19. DJ Uiagalelei, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.):
The national co-Player of the Year in football led the Braves to a state Open Division and national championships by throwing for 4,225 yards, 48 touchdowns against two interceptions. The current Clemson-enrollee also rushed for 412 yards and eight scores.
Bryce Young, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.):
The national co-Player of the Year in football threw for 4,528 yards and 58 touchdowns while completing better than 70 percent of his passes for the 12-1 Monarchs who finished 12-1 and No. 2 in the country, losing only to St. John Bosco, which it beat earlier in the year. Young, currently enrolled at Alabama, also rushed for 357 yards and 10 scores.
Past MaxPreps Male High School Athletes of the Year
2007-08 — Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette (Pa.): Football, basketball
2008-09 — Garrett Gilbert, Lake Travis (Austin, Texas): Football
2009-10 — Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest (Springfield, Mo.): Football, basketball, track and field
2010-11 — Kasen Williams, Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.): Football, basketball, track and field
2011-12 — Anthony Alford, Petal (Miss): Football, baseball
2012-13 — Derrick Henry, Yulee (Fla.): Football
2013-14 — Patrick Mahomes, Whitehouse (Texas): Football, basketball, baseball
2014-15 — Kyler Murray, Allen (Texas): Football, baseball
2015-16 — Lonzo Ball, Chino Hills (Calif.): Basketball
2016-17 — Tim Tawa, West Linn (Ore.): Football, basketball, baseball
2017-18 — Jordyn Adams, Green Hope (Cary, N.C.): Football, baseball
2018-19 — Joe Girard III, Glen Falls (NY): Football, basketball