ESPN2 helped fill the sports desert caused by the pandemic with a high school basketball tripleheader featuring five prep school teams from around the country and a Minneapolis-based AAU team made up of key players from Minnehaha Academy.
Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 high school prospect in the nation, helped fill the void even more. The 7-footer had 31 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots as his Team Sizzle defeated Ypsi Prep of Michigan 78-71 in a game played in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The opposing team featured junior Emoni Bates, who is the No. 1 ranked player in the junior class, according to ESPN. Ypsi Prep was started this year by Elgin Bates, the player's father, after Emoni spent his first two years on high school playing for a public school in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Bates, a 6-foot-9 forward, scored 36 points for his team.
Holmgren has a list of seven colleges he is considering, including the University of Minnesota, but isn't planning to make a decision during the current early-signing period. The other schools on his list are Michigan, Memphis, Georgetown, North Carolina, Ohio State and Gonzaga.
Jalen Suggs, Holmgren's former high school teammate at the Minneapolis private school, is a freshman at Gonzaga. Holmgren's father Dave played for the Gophers in the 1980s.
Holmgren's game Thursday night featured several end-to-end plays that finished with dunks, a couple of three-pointers and an assortment of moves around the basket.
After the game, Holmgren told ESPN: "When you're a competitor like I am, you always want to play against the best. And that's the best of the best, cream of the crop."