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Chet Holmgren’s Thunder teammates show up for his high school jersey retirement

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Oklahoma City Thunder big man Chet Holmgren was back in his old stomping grounds on Friday night to have his high school jersey retired at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis. The Rookie of the Year candidate was joined by nearly the entire Thunder organization with the team in town to play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. 

The ceremony took place prior to Minnehaha’s matchup with Providence Academy. After receiving his framed No. 34 jersey, Holmgren took the mic to say thank you to the packed house. 

“I don’t got too many words for everybody,” Holmgren said. “I don’t want to keep these two teams from playing any longer than I already have. I’d just like to say thank you to everybody. I’ve been trying to make my rounds to say hi to everybody, but I probably won’t be able to make it to everyone, so this is my chance to say thank you to everybody who helped give me the opportunity to become who I am and to make this possible for me.

“I just want my jersey to be on the wall as an example to the standard that should be kept for everybody who walks through the doors of this school. If you help uphold that standard, it might not help get your jersey retired, but it will help you do great things in life. So, again, thank you everybody for coming.” 

Holmgren was a dominant force in high school, helping Minnehaha win four state championships in four years. In his senior season, he averaged 20.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 4.7 blocks per game en route to earning numerous national player of the year honors, Mr. Basketball in Minnesota and a McDonald’s All-American appearance. 

After one season at Gonzaga, Holmgren was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but ended up missing his entire first season with a foot injury. This campaign, he’s finally been able to put his talents on full display at the highest level. He’s averaging 17.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game, while shooting 38.5% from 3-point land. If it wasn’t for the presence Victor Wembanyama, he’d be the runaway Rookie of the Year. 

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