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Woodbury to Wazzu: Suggs commits to Washington State

Renard Suggs, a 2013 Woodbury High School grad, recently committed to play college basketball for Washington State University. (Bulletin file photo)

Renard Suggs took the Royals basketball team to an elite level during his time at Woodbury High School.

During his senior season, Suggs averaged nearly 20 points per game and helped Woodbury advance to the state tournament in 2013.

Now, after just one year of junior college hoops, Suggs is committed to play at an even bigger stage.

Suggs recently committed to play basketball at Washington State University, starting in the 2015-16 season.

He initially announced his intent to play for Washington while at a dinner with the Cougars’ coaches during a visit to the school.

“I announced it and everyone hugged me,” he said. “My mom was crying.”

It would have been hard for her not to be. Her son had just made his dreams come true.

“This is what I pictured,” Suggs said, “and it’s finally happening.”

It’s happening after a brief detour right out of high school. Suggs, while a standout for the Royals, didn’t receive any Division-I scholarship offers right off the bat.

So he took his talents to Gillette College -- a two-year community college in Gillette, Wyoming, a relatively small town with a population of less than 30 thousand people.

“There’s not too much you can do (there),” Suggs said.

So he spent the majority of his time doing two things -- working on his game in the gym and studying.

“That’s all I’ve been doing,” he said, “and it’s paid off.”

It paid off in a big way last year, as Suggs averaged 14.2 points per game while shooting the three-ball at a 38.6 percent clip a year ago in 33 appearances for Gillette -- 31 of those games came in a starting role.

But Suggs said his largest growth as a player came on the defensive end of the floor.

“My defense has improved a lot,” he said.

That defensive improvement, along with his offensive prowess, earned Suggs offers from the likes of Portland State, Long Beach State, North Texas and Texas Christian University. But at the end of the day, the Cougars were the choice.

Suggs will join first-year head coach Ernie Kent’s roster in 2015.

But before then, he has his second and final season to complete with Gillette.

He plans on achieving a lot in his final year.

“We’re trying to go undefeated and win it all,” he said.

The 2014-15 campaign also marks the last run for Renard and his brother Rickey.

“It’s going to be a really exciting season with me and him,” Renard said. “It’s going to be weird going off to different places, but it’s good.”

Renard said having Rickey around made the transition to college life much easier for him. Renard said he is much more mature now than he was leaving Woodbury.

And while he’s got high sights set on his final season with his brother at Gillette, Renard is looking forward to taking that maturity, improved defense and ever-present ability to fill it up in the scoring column to the Pac-12 a year from now.

“I’m super excited,” he said. “I’ve been working my whole life to get to this point, and it’s just the beginning.”