Add another trophy to high school phenom Ben Simmons’ trophy case.
Simmons was named the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year on Tuesday, giving him a clean sweep of the national player of the year awards.
The Australia native has signed a letter of intent to play for LSU next season. He has helped Montverde Academy (Montverde, Florida) reach the Dick’s Sporting Goods National High School Tournament.
He is rated as the consesus No. 1 overall player in the country and is expected to be a one-and-done at the collegiate level. According to NBAdraft.net, he is slated to be taken No.1 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.
“Ben Simmons is an electrifying player,” Montverde Academy head coach Kevin Boyle stated. “He’s a great rebounder, and he has the ability to help teammates get better. I think he’s the best high school player in the country. And the scary thing is I think he can get a lot better. He’s improved each year because he recognizes he can keep getting better.”
Simmons has all the tools you look for in a prospect. At 6’9, 230 pounds, he already possesses an NBA body and has the game to make NBA scouts salivate. He can shoot, defend, rebound and has an uncanny ability to pass the rock which separates him from most small-forwards and stretch fours.
ESPN’s National Director of Recruiting,Paul Biancardi, had high prasies for Simmons’ overall game
“Ben is a difference-maker,” said Biancardi. “His game touches so many different categories as he makes an impact with his positional size, versatile scoring ability, rebounding and shot-blocking talent. His versatility is his calling card, but what separates him from his peers is his passing ability. He possesses the vision to see the open man and the willingness to make the pass, as well as the accuracy and understanding to make the play.”
The Montverde senior has averaged 28 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists per game and has also been great on the defensive side of the ball as well, averaging over two assists per game.
The LSU Tigers and head coach Johnny Jones have assembled some impressive talent over the past few years but signing Simmons is a game-changer. Joining Simmons in Baton Rouge next season is five-star shooting guard Antonio Blakeney. Furthermore, five-star combo guard Malik Newman is heavily considering LSU as well so the Tigers could make some major noise in 2015-2016.
You can catch Simmons in the McDonald’s High School All-American game on April 3.
*Section Photo credit to Jamie Squire, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to the Associated Press.