Gonzaga star freshman guard Jalen Suggs declares for the NBA draft

The talent pool in the NBA draft just got a lot deeper.

Gonzaga star guard Jalen Suggs, who just completed his freshman season with the Bulldogs, announced Monday that he would be declaring for the draft.

Suggs, who is just 19 years old, made the announcement on ESPN's "The Jump" from his home in Minneapolis.

"I'm super excited," Suggs said during the broadcast. "I can't wait to take this next step in my journey. This has been something I have dreamed about since I've been a little kid. To be here now is surreal and I'm ready to get going."

Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs (1) leaps on a sideline table to celebrate after sinking a three-pointer at the buzzer to defeat UCLA in overtime during the 2021 men's NCAA Tournament national semifinals. (Photo: Robert Scheer, Indianapolis Star)

Suggs started all 30 games this season and averaged 14.4 points, 4.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game. He also starred in the NCAA Tournament, including hitting a buzzer-beating three-pointer in a 93-90 overtime victory against UCLA in the Final Four that sent Gonzaga to the national championship game.

"I knew when he shot it, it was going in," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of Suggs' buzzer beater.

Gonzaga lost in the national championship game to Baylor, 86-70.

Suggs, a 6-foot-4 point guard, showcased excellent athleticism and body control throughout the year, while blending an ability to score through penetration but also distribute efficiently to his teammates.

"Going into a locker room and commanding vets and being that presence that they can look at for leadership and things like that, i think is a quality that is built inside of you," Suggs said on "The Jump" about playing with more experienced teammates. "It's something I've been practicing since I was a little kid, coming up and playing with older competition. I feel that I can come in, even though I'm young, a new rookie to the league, I can be someone in the locker room who always leads by example."

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