Simply Simmons: Elite sophomore forward blogs about life in the U.S. and his newfound love for cheese sticks
Ben Simmons has only been in the U.S. since January and played in just one tournament, but he’s shown enough on the court to be widely regarded as a top five player in the 2015 class; some say he could be No. 1. Simmons, a 6-foot-9 combo forward who hails from Melbourne, Australia, helped Montverde (Montverde, Fla.) win a national title in April and now he’s got heavyweight college suitors like Duke, Ohio State and LSU, among others. Now he’s agreed to give USA TODAY HSS exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a blog.
What’s up everyone this is Ben Simmons from Melbourne, Australia, class of 2015, and I’m here doing my first blog!
I’m very excited to be starting this blog; it’s a great opportunity to sorta connect with the fans.
I got to Montverde three months ago and I’ve really enjoyed the experience of playing with so many great players like Dakari Johnson, Devin Williams, Kasey Hill and D’Angelo Russell.
Just to even be a part of such a talented team has been great. I’ve learned a lot already. Also winning the NHSI was just an amazing experience. Only three games into my high school career over here and I’m a national champion.
When I first arrived I was rehabbing my knee and I had no clue whether I’d be able to play or not. My coach (Kevin Boyle) didn’t think I’d be able to play this season, but they ended up accepting me to play in the NHSI.
I won’t lie; I was really nervous playing in that first game.
I was telling everyone that I was cool, but I really wasn’t. Then when I hit that first fadeaway jumper I knew everything was gonna be OK. From that point on I just played my game. I’m the kind of player that lets the game come to me and I do whatever it takes to win. I definitely didn’t play the way I usually play at NHSI; I usually take a couple more jumpers, but I wanted to be what my team needed at the time.
I think I must’ve been saving my jump shots for next season, Haha!
I like to play defense and rebound too. Just, like I said, whatever it takes.
Being over here is so much different than back home.
At Montverde there are so many different types of people from so many different places. It’s not a typical American school so I like getting to see all the different cultures.
The food is really good too!
I always eat steak and Caesar salad at school and I love it! I also started eating cheese sticks since I’ve been over here. I love those things. Actually, I usually don’t even eat dinner because I eat too many cheese sticks. They are so good!
A lot of people have been asking if I’m going to be playing AAU this spring, but I’m not going to play this year. I’ve decided to head back home so I can prepare for next season. I really want to develop my skills and take the opportunity to work on my body and get stronger. I’m so excited to get back with my trainer and go hard with my workouts.
I’m going to play in the Pangos All American Camp and then I’m gonna head back to Australia for the summer.
I haven’t really been focusing a whole lot on college recruiting; my father handles that pretty much, but I’ve got interest from LSU, obviously, because my godfather (David Patrick) is on staff there. Then Duke, of course, because they were one of the first schools to watch me. Then there’s St. Mary’s, Washington State and Ohio State, they sent me my first letter.
My dad would know a whole lot more than me, and I’m sure that it will get crazier in about 30 days because that’s when coaches can officially start contacting me nonstop.
That should be interesting. I’ve heard that it gets pretty wild. But to be honest, it’s so early for me that I’m not even really looking at it that close. I’m more focused on high school and finishing strong academically. So far it’s going pretty good.
If anyone says that I have a favorite school that’s not true. So we can clear up any rumors right there.
Other than that, I’m just glad to be over here playing.
I miss it back home, but I could definitely see myself living over here. I just like it.
I like the music. I listen to everything. My teammates D’Angelo and Devin are the ones who like to put me on to new music for the most part.
You know what else; I also started watching “The Walking Dead” when I came over here. That’s a really good show. Right now it’s my favorite show.
I just like a lot of things over here. Too many to start listing, I guess.
OK guys well, thanks again guys for reading my first blog. I hope you enjoyed it because there are many more to come.
Make sure you stay tuned for the next one!
Don’t forget to follow Ben Simmons on Twitter: @BenSimmons25