Chet Holmgren’s parents: Their contribution to his success

Chet Holmgren went viral when he crossed up Steph Curry to score during the 2019 SC30 camp. Choosing to guard Curry was in itself a brave decision, but having the confidence to use the NBA star’s move against him showed next-level fearlessness. To top it all off, Chet seemed nonchalant about it, much to the disbelief of his friend Paige Bueckers. 

“Do you realize what you’ve done?” an incredulous Paige asked Chet. Three years later, Chet’s in with a chance of becoming the number one pick at the 2022 NBA Draft. 

The chances are that his father, Dave Holmgren, will record the moment Chet lands an NBA spot.

Chet’s father played college basketball, but knee issues hindered his progress

Chet Holmgren was born on 1st May 2002 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Dave and Sarah Holmgren. Dave is 7-foot, offering an indication as to the source of Chet’s height. 

Dave played for the University of Minnesota from 1984 to 1988. Unfortunately, knee issues limited his progress and output on the court. He played 57 games, averaging 1 point and 0.7 rebounds per game. 

Despite his background in basketball, Dave had little interest in being Chet’s coach. He taught Chet some fundamentals, including avoiding fouling on defense but left training to coaches like Brian Sandifer and Larry Suggs. 

Dave told The Michigan Insider that Chet was better than he was probably because his son played more. Holmgren explained:

“We didn’t have AAU and I didn’t start playing until seventh grade. I never played anything but park ball in high school. I played maybe 40 games in a year and he plays maybe 100 games in a year. They practice year-round and I didn’t do any of that. I could shoot, I could block shots but his game is way beyond that.”

Dave added that he loved Larry Suggs’ all-inclusive approach to coaching. “When I saw his [Larry’s] guards and his kid when I walked in the gym, I was like, shoot, I don’t have to look any further if he’s going to teach them to do this stuff,” he added. 

Chet’s tough nature convinced Dave that Chet would be alright

“He [Chet] might get knocked out but ain’t gonna back up,” Dave said. Chet’s father noted that Chet was combative from day one: he kicked and screamed, trying to get out of his mother’s womb. 

Dave shared a hilarious story in which the entire third grade fled from Chet whenever anyone messed with him. “He chased every single one of the dudes regardless of whether they hit him or not,” Holmgren shared. “One dude smacked him, he went and smacked every one of them.”

In sixth grade, Chet came up against an opponent his size but heavier. Chet’s strategy was to inconvenience his opponent as much as possible, a tactic that riled up his rival. 

“The dude got heated and turned and blasted him in the chest with two hands and knocked him down,” Dave said. “Chet jumped right back up and got right back in his face. I was like, alright, we’re gonna be OK.”

Chet needed that toughness when he enrolled in Brian Sandifer’s development program. He told Bleacher Report:

“I cried after the first week of practice, every practice. I just couldn’t handle it. But the way I was born, I’ve never really been somebody to like take a hit and just lay there. I’ll get hit, and I’ll get back up.”

Dave has recorded all of Chet’s games since he was in sixth grade

Dave and Sarah attend Chet’s games, but Dave gets most of the attention. Chet’s father always records Chet’s games with an old-fashioned camcorder, a practice he started when Chet was in sixth grade. 

“I don’t know how many gigabytes,” Dave talked to Sports Illustrated about the amount of footage he’s collected. “It’s a lot. Probably thousands [of games]. I just started doing it one day and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Chet doesn’t need his father’s recordings: there’s professional video of most of his games if he needs to rewatch his games. However, Chet sometimes watches the tapes to get a different angle than the TV broadcasts.

Dave denied that he does it to calm his nerves or coach his son using the footage. “I’m pretty low-key as it is,” Dave said. 

When Chet was younger, the recordings made sense as he would rewatch his games and find ways to improve. Chet told The Spokesman-Review:

“I’m happy that my dad does that so I’m able to go back and watch everything. Sometimes, back when the games weren’t on TV and stuff, it allowed my grandma to watch all my games, too. So I’m just happy he does it.”

Chet will play in the NBA soon, and you can expect to see Dave with his trusty camcorder filming every moment. “I’ve been doing it so long,” Dave said. “I’m just going to keep doing it.”

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