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The sting of a national championship game loss to Baylor just got a little better for the Gonzaga men's basketball program.
Chet Holmgren, the consensus No. 1 recruit in men's college basketball, selected the Bulldogs to play in 2021-22.
The 7-foot-1 multidimensional player from Minneapolis announced the decision Monday on ESPN's "SportsCenter." He picked the Zags over six other finalists – Georgetown, Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio State.
Holmgren's arrival will give coach Mark Few another national title-contending team. The Bulldogs came up just short of winning it all earlier this month after an undefeated season ended in the national title game vs. Baylor. Gonzaga is expected to lose Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert to the NBA draft but could return NCAA Tournament breakout performer Drew Timme as well as a balanced nucleus to form around Holmgren, who previously played on the same AAU team as Suggs.
Holmgren won several major high school basketball accolades including The Naismith Award and Wootten Award, while being named to the McDonald's All-American and Nike Hoops Summit teams. He played high school basketball for Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis
Holmgren rose to fame after a YouTube video went viral of him dribbling past and dunking over Stephen Curry at the NBA All-Star's camp last year.
The 18-year-old is the No. 1 recruit according to ESPN 100, 247 Sports and Rivals. He narrowed his list of schools to the seven schools last June. He's also projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA draft on several mock draft boards.
Holmgren, a 7-1 forward, has a unique skillset – playing like a guard, shooting well from beyond the arc, finishing with athleticism near the rim and presenting great shot blocking ability. He's one of the highest ranked incoming freshman in recent college basketball history, with only three recruits since 2003 in 247 Sports recruiting rankings earning 1.000 rankings. The others on that list included: LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Greg Oden, Andrew Wiggins and RJ Barrett.
"He is the greatest mismatch in the high school game because of his 3-point shooting ability, inside game and physical measurements," ESPN's national recruiting director Paul Biancardi said over Twitter. "At 7-1 with an enormous wingspan, Holmgren is a world-class shot blocker with exceptional instincts to protect the rim.
Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chet Holmgren, consensus No. 1 college basketball recruit, selects Gonzaga