Jalen Suggs talks former teammate Chet Holmgren’s successful season

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s contest against the Orlando Magic will feature a pair of former high school teammates squaring off.

Chet Holmgren and Jalen Suggs played together in Minnehaha Academy before both also joined Gonzaga, albeit in separate years. Suggs — who is a year older — went No. 5 in the 2021 draft while Holmgren went No. 2 in 2022.

After missing all of last season with a Lisfranc injury, Holmgren has blossomed into one of the best defensive players in the league despite his youthful age.

The 21-year-old is part of an impressive young trio in OKC with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams that has the Thunder (36-17) being in contention their first year together.

When asked about his former teammate’s immediate success, Suggs said he knew he’d make an immediate impact.

“He’s played well man. He’s doing what he needs to do,” Suggs said. “Handling business offensively, defensively. Making an impact to winning. That’s what he does, that’s the type of person and player he is. Happy for him.”

“I knew Chet was a great player. I’ve known it and I’ve always seen it. To see him strive and flourish on his club this year after being out all last year is a blessing, I’m happy for him.”

Meanwhile, Suggs has had his own successful campaign. After a so-so first two seasons, the 22-year-old has established himself as a starter for the Magic (29-24), who are having one of their best seasons in recent history.

Editor’s note: Cody Taylor of Rookie Wire contributed to this article.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire