By Ren Clayton

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It was a familiar feeling when Jalen Suggs touched down Monday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with his fellow Orlando Magic players.

“As soon as we got off the plane, I think we got here at like one in the morning, but I had the biggest smile on my face, just knowing that I was back in Minneapolis, you know, back home,” said Suggs after shoot around Monday morning.

READ MORE: Portion Of Twins' Spring Training Stadium Closes Due To Structural Issues

Suggs starred at Minnehaha Academy on the football field and the basketball court. Now, he’s playing in the NBA, just a 15-minute drive from his old high school.

“I know that I’m gonna be excited,” said Suggs. “Try to keep my eyes off the stands too much, you know, to see, you know, keep myself from looking at friends and family all game.

Minnesota is excited to see one of the best to come out of the state. The Magic are just 1-6 so far. Their fifth overall pick will step on the court Monday night still getting used to the NBA grind, while fulfilling a childhood dream.

Jalen Suggs (credit: CBS)

READ MORE: Minnesota Native, UConn’s Paige Bueckers Out 6-8 Weeks With Fracture

“I knew it was a lot of games and I knew they came quick, but until you like really have to go take a flight every day, every other day, you don’t really understand it,” he said. “Other than that, I love it.”

It was just a year and eight months ago that Suggs played in his last high school game. Then, he hit a world-class buzzer beater in the Final Four this March. Family and home cooking is a nice change of pace from Suggs’ whirlwind life.

“Saw my uncles, aunts, the little kids before they went trick-or-treating, a little nice home-cooked meal, and got to go to the Vikings game,” he said.

After playing in front of hundreds of his family and friends Monday night, Suggs will jet off to continue his basketball journey.

MORE NEWS: Vikings’ Anthony Barr Nominated For Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year: 'The Work Is Far From Over'

Minnesota and Orlando tip off at 7 p.m. Monday at Target Center.

Ren Clayton