Jalen Suggs has the mamba mentality on the court and when celebrating the big moments.
What a game. What a shot. What a fitting celebration for a game-winner.
A moment like the one Jalen Suggs turned in at the end of Gonzaga’s Final Four duel with UCLA is the stuff dreams are made of. The Zags star finished with 16 points, six assists, five rebounds, and one iconic shot in the Bulldogs’ 93-90 victory over the 11-seed UCLA Bruins.
The Bulldogs are the first team to enter the title game undefeated since Indiana State in 1979. But it’s not simply that Gonzaga is on the cusp of history that is incredible, rather it’s how they arrived there.
Big-time players make big-time plays in big games. Suggs dreamt of this moment.
“I’ve always wanted to run up on the table [after a game winner] like Kobe or D-Wade.”
— ESPN (@espn) April 4, 2021
Jalen Suggs says he channeled his inner-Kobe after game-winning shot
As the shockwaves from Suggs’ shot rippled across the sports world, the man behind the moment made sure to include the perfect coda.
“I’ve always wanted to run up on the table [after a game winner] like Kobe or D-Wade,” Suggs said after the game when asked about his celebration.
The buildup to that moment for Suggs came midway through the second half. He ran the length of the floor on the fast break after a UCLA turnover and displayed perfect body control to avoid contact and get a layup.
With a little over two minutes to go, he tied the game up with an excellent turnaround jumper.
He didn’t stop there. On the defensive end, Cody Riley had him beat off of an excellent give-and-go pass by Tyger Campbell.
Suggs recovered, blocked the shot, and ran the length of the floor to end the sequence with a sweet dime to Drew Timme for a two-handed slam and the lead.
Suggs’ game-winning shot in overtime was the icing on the cake to keep a perfect season alive. Give credit where it’s due to the Bruins. They never backed down and played the Bulldogs tough the entire way.
This game was an instant classic. It had 19 lead changes, it was only tied for 6:23 and there were only two one-score deficits.
With that shot, Suggs gave the people what they wanted. Monday night, we’ll have a matchup for the National Championship between the two best teams in the country, the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears.
It couldn’t get any better than that.