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New Gonzaga commit Jalen Suggs says playing professionally overseas is a ‘very serious’ option

Five-star recruit Jalen Suggs, the highest-ranked recruit in Gonzaga history, didn’t rule out playing professionally overseas next year instead on Friday. (David Joles/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Gonzaga coach Mark Few landed the highest-ranked recruit in program history on Friday night when five-star point guard Jalen Suggs committed to the Bulldogs. 

Hailing from Minneapolis, Suggs made his commitment on ESPN2 Friday afternoon, selecting Gonzaga over Florida, Florida State, Iowa State and Minnesota. 

Suggs, however, has long been considered a prime candidate to forgo the college route and play professionally overseas instead for a season before making the jump to the NBA.

Despite his commitment to play for Few next season, Suggs didn’t rule out playing professionally abroad either.

“That consideration is very serious,” Suggs said, via the Spokesman-Review. “Me and my parents have been in talks with multiple teams overseas, trying to figure out contracts and stuff like that.

“But as of right now I’m fully invested in the Zags.”

Several top prospects have opted to play professionally overseas instead of in college in recent years, most notably LaMelo Ball — who is widely considered to be a lottery pick in the draft in June. The youngest Ball brother is currently playing for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia’s National Basketball League and has posted back-to-back triple-doubles this season, the first NBL player to do so since 2005. Fellow projected lottery pick R.J. Hampton followed suit, too, and is currently playing for the New Zealand Breakers.

Given Suggs’ impressive list of accolades, the professional route could be a good option for him. The senior has won three gold medals with USA Basketball, two at the past two FIBA World Cups and one at the 2017 FIBA Americas Championship. He’s led Minnehaha Academy to three straight Minnesota state championships in basketball, and even led their football team to a state title as their quarterback. 

He averaged 20.2 points this summer on the Under Armour Association circuit, and dropped 25 points on Friday in Minnehaha’s 89-68 win against Park Center of the ESPN-broadcasted High School Showcase. Minnehaha is set to take on Sierra Canyon on Saturday at the Target Center, too, going up against both LeBron James’ and Dwyane Wade’s sons. 

Despite keeping his options open, Suggs had nothing but good things to say about Gonzaga, and seems excited to join Few’s program next fall.

“To me, Mark Few is the best coach in the country,” Suggs said, via the Spokesman-Review. “He has that winning mentality just like I do. He’s a great competitor and what he does with his players and his point guards, I believe going into that system I can truly grow and develop as a player.”

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