The Next Step for Suggs

Bellarmine's George Suggs blocked a shot from Drury’s Wendall Pierre.

Bellarmine’s George Suggs blocked a shot from Drury’s Wendall Pierre.

George Suggs was a captain for Bellarmine’s 23-7 Great Lakes Valley Conference championship team in 2015-16. He finished his four-year Knights career as the schools all-time leader in blocked shots. Suggs rejected 187 shots in his career. He also scored 1,059 points. Suggs averaged 12.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks as a senior. The St. Louis native wrote a weekly column during the season for wave3.com and was an intern in the WAVE 3 Sports department during the summer of 2015.

What do you miss the most about the basketball season?
I miss getting to hang out with 14 great guys every day. Things aren’t quite the same now that I’m not walking into the locker room to work out every day. It has been pretty tough because I have been on some kind of team since second grade, and now, all of the sudden, I’m kind of on my own. It’s definitely different from what I’m used to.

When will you graduate?
I will be graduating in May. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how fast it went by.

What are your plans after graduation?
That’s a tough question. I had obviously thought about it prior to my season ending, but then when we were done, everything became real. Suddenly, I was getting together my resume and looking for jobs and everything. Ultimately, I plan on staying in Louisville. It’s become a second home to me, and I’d love to be able to stay.

Will you pursue any kind of a professional basketball career?
There was a long time when that was my plan. Now, though, I don’t think so. I loved every minute of playing basketball from high school to coming here to Bellarmine. Despite our season not ending the way we wanted, I had a heck of a career and think that is how I should finish with basketball.

What will you miss about playing for Scotty Davenport?
Well, Coach Davenport is a really passionate guy. There was never a time when I questioned whether or not he wanted to win. Being around someone like that is definitely something I appreciate because that is not something you find everywhere. Whether in the workplace or part of a team, not everyone really, truly cares like that.

Who was the best player you played with at Bellarmine?
Oh, I’m sure I’ll hear from some of them about this. I’ve played with a lot of really, really talented guys. If I had to pick one, I would probably say that Chris Dowe was the best player. He did things on the court that, as a freshman, made me think I was in over my head. He also dunked on me in practice too, so I feel obligated to give him the credit on this one.

Who was the best player Bellarmine played against during your career?
We got to play some unbelievable teams, so that is not easy. It may be because it is the most recent one, but in our exhibition against Indiana, Yogi Ferrell did some things on the court that blew my mind. Especially being a slow big guy, it wasn’t easy keeping track of him. I did block his shot though, so maybe I’m just trying to feel good about myself on that one.

You leave as the school’s all-time leading shot blocker. Was that at all a goal of yours as you entered college?
Not really. I had set the record for my high school, but moving up a level, I wasn’t exactly expecting it to translate to college. As a freshman, it always feels like everything is too fast or people are jumping too high, and it took a while to adjust. It really wasn’t until after my sophomore year when I had around 60 blocks that I realized I had a chance at setting the record.

What would your dream job be?
Well, there are a lot of things I would love to do. I’ve always loved to write and will likely write no matter what I end up doing. As far as a dream job though, I would love to be your boss, Kent. Having been your intern, I would love to see the tables turned.

When you reflect on your Bellarmine career, what is the most lasting memory?
I’ve been asked this a lot, and every time, I answer the same way: after we won the regional tournament in 2015 and I got to help Patrick McSweeney up to the top of the ladder to cut down the nets. As much as I loved blocking shots or winning games, there was nothing like that feeling. VT

Photo by BILL WINE