Recent rumors involving the University of Gonzaga and Chet Holmgren, the top-ranked basketball player in the 2021 high school class, were squashed Monday by a Gonzaga donor who had been accused of offering Holmgren improper benefits.
Sandra DeLong, the Gonzaga donor in question, explained to reporters that it had been a case of mistaken identity during Holmgren’s campus visit before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“I feel so bad about it now,” DeLong said, “but I truly had the best intentions at heart.”
DeLong said when she saw the 7’1″, 195-pound Holmgren walking around campus, she mistook him as just a malnourished kid.
“I saw this tall, skinny boy striding around the Gonzaga campus, and I felt so bad.” DeLong said. “I thought he was just another kid whose parents couldn’t afford to feed him.”
“So I walked up to him and offered to buy him a couple of pizzas from Domino’s. One to eat that day, and one to take home to share with the rest of his family.”
When DeLong learned that Holmgren was actually in the area for an official recruiting visit, she said she immediately backed off.
“The Bulldogs are so close to winning a national championship, I didn’t want anyone to think I was offering him any improper benefits.” DeLong clarified.
“I just thought he was a starving kid.”
Holmgren could not be reached for comment, due to the author of this story not having access to a ladder or Holmgren’s phone number.