Jalen Suggs is charging into the NBA. The one-and-done Gonzaga Bulldog built a remarkable legend in just one year. From a perfect regular season to the unforgettable dagger over UCLA, Suggs did wonders for his draft stock. He's done wonders for his love life, too.
There's a common misconception among NCAA basketball fans that Jalen Suggs is dating UConn Huskies star Paige Bueckers. While the pair spends plenty of time together, their friendship is far from romantic. Suggs and Bueckers have been close friends since their AAU days. They both became Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year at their Minneapolis-adjacent high schools, Minnehaha Academy and Hopkins High School in Minnetonka. They attended Steph Curry's camp together. They play intense games of one-on-one, though Bueckers has yet to win. Suggs is ready for the NBA, but the WNBA isn't prepared for Paige Bueckers.
Suggs does have a girlfriend, though it appears to be something recent. Who is the former NCAA baller and who is his current NCAA baller girlfriend?
Jalen Suggs' Girlfriend Hailey Van Lith
Jalen Suggs is dating Louisville women's basketball player Hailey Van Lith.
She may only be a freshman, but she's already a legit star. The guard has won several FIBA World Cup gold medals and played in the Youth Olympics. While playing for Cashmere High School in Washington, Van Lith earned Player of the Year, All-USA first team and was named a McDonald's All-American.
In her one season at Louisville, she was named to the ACC All-Freshman team, one of only two Louisville players to start every single game. She led the Louisville Cardinal to the Elite Eight during last year's NCAA tournament, where they lost to the Stanford Cardinal. Van Lith struggled, only scoring seven points in the game.
In April 2021, Suggs posted a photo of Hailey captioned with a heart to his social media. Instagram official is as official as anything these days. The two both have since made posts about each other. They've been considered a couple ever since.
Not much is known about the couple. It's safe to say the pair met at one of their elite basketball camps, at a Team USA tournament or through a mutual friend in the basketball world.
While Van Lith plans to stay at Louisville, Suggs will be drafted into the NBA. Unless he ends up with the Pacers (based in Indianapolis, the closest franchise to Louisville), this relationship looks destined for long distance.
Jalen Suggs NCAA Career
Jalen Suggs's point guard career has been on the rise for years now. The West Saint Paul native has yet to put on an NBA uniform, but he's been working towards this for much of his life.
Born to Larry Suggs and Molly Manley, Jalen shared the court with younger sisters Jaelle and Jennica Suggs. He started playing varsity ball when he was in eighth grade. When he was in ninth, he led Minnehaha Academy to a Minnesota state championship.
Jalen won two more state titles, National MaxPreps Male Athlete of the Year and Minnesota Associated Press Player of the Year before graduating high school. The COVID-19 pandemic was the only force that could stop Suggs from winning four state titles in a row. The coronavirus canceled his senior season. Still, Suggs won Minnesota Mr. Basketball Honors. He also won Minnesota Mr. Football Honors, becoming the only athlete to win both in the same year in the history of Minnesotans.
Suggs played football and basketball. He was a Rivals.com four-star dual-threat quarterback, recruited by Georgia and Ohio State. Suggs chose the court over the gridiron, choosing to become a Gonzaga Bulldog over Florida and Iowa. ESPN considered Suggs the fifth-best basketball player in the country out of high school, a five-star recruit.
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) April 4, 2021
Suggs led the Bulldogs to their most storied season during his one year in Gonzaga. He averaged 14 points, five rebounds and two steals a game, starting all 30 games. The Bulldogs posted a perfect season. Suggs won West Coast Conference All-Rookie honors and WCC Rookie of the Year.
Suggs then led the Bulldogs deep into March Madness, all the way to the NCAA Final against the Baylor Bears. Despite his late-game heroics in the Final Four over UCLA, the Bears won the 2021 NCAA National Championship game.
Suggs declared for the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft the same day his former Minnehaha teammate Chet Holgrem committed to Gonzaga. Most mock drafts have the top prospect going early but behind Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley. NBC has him going at No. 4 to the Toronto Raptors. CBS and The Ringer agree. Toronto is a long way from Louisville, which is where Jalen Suggs's girlfriend plays college basketball.
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