No. 1 hooper Ben Simmons will wear "I Can’t Breathe" t-shirt in warmups for Friday’s nationally televised game

No. 1 hooper Ben Simmons will wear "I Can’t Breathe" t-shirt in warmups for Friday’s nationally televised game

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No. 1 hooper Ben Simmons will wear "I Can’t Breathe" t-shirt in warmups for Friday’s nationally televised game

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Ben Simmons sported an "I Can't Breathe" shirt to support the family of Eric Garner. / Simmons

Ben Simmons sported an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt to support the family of Eric Garner. / Simmons

Four days after the best player in the NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, donned a black “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt during pregame warmups, the best player in high school basketball, Montverde’s (Montverde, Fla.) Ben Simmons, has decided to follow suit.

Simmons will sport his t-shirt tonight before for he and the Eagles, the No. 1 team in the USA Today HSS Super 25, go head-to-head with No. 12 Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

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“When I feel really strongly about something I act on it,” said Simmons, an LSU signee who is ranked No. 1 in the ESPN 100. “I just feel like I’ve been blessed with the platform and what I want to do is show support for the family and raise awareness.”

The shirts were made in response to a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict New York City policeman Daniel Pantaleo in relation to the chokehold death of Eric Garner, which was caught on video. In the video, Garner is heard saying “I can’t breathe” multiple times.

“No matter what you believe it’s sad that someone lost their life,” said Simmons, who hails from Melbourne, Australia and is averaging 31 points, 10 rebounds and six assists a game. “Here at Montverde it’s multi-cultural with kids from all over the world so I want to wear it to show that his family has support from all over the world. Everybody has their own opinions and they should be able to voice them no matter what; I just wanna do my part.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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