Name: Ben Simmons
School: Montverde Academy, Montverde, Fla.
Position: Power forward
College: Signed with LSU
Details: Simmons, originally from Melbourne, Australia, led the Eagles to a 56-1 record the past two seasons and back-to-back titles in the DICKS’ Sporting Goods High School Nationals. He is averaging 28 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists this season. He helped the Australian U17 national team win a silver medal in the 2012 FIBA World Championships. His father, Dave, played for 13 seasons in the Australian National Basketball League.
Toughest opponent I’ve guarded: LeBron James is definitely the hardest. His strength and his quickness makes him hard to guard. As soon as he tucks the ball into his chest, you have a very hard time taking it from him.
Super power I’d like to have: Mind reading.
My biggest basketball influences: Definitely my dad and LeBron. My dad is the reason I’m playing basketball and watching LeBron and being able to talk to him at the LeBron camp really helped me.
Favorite basketball sneakers: I have a lot of them, but I try to give them to people who have the same shoe size. My favorite right now is the LeBron 12 NikeiD.
Favorite saying: Go out and play hard because only your hardest is good enough.
Who’s cooler, Finn or Jake (Australian comic characters) or SpongeBob or Patrick: Patrick for sure. He doesn’t care.
Favorite teacher: I love all my teachers, but I really like Mrs. (Lori) Treweek for psychology
Hidden talent: I think I am the best video player in the class of 2015. I am usually into Call of Duty.
What do you teammates say about you? Off the court, I joke around, but as soon as I am on the court, I’m serious.
First car: Dodge Charger. 2014.
First job: Back home I had a paper route when I was younger.
First time I beat my dad in one-on-one: When I came back the end of my sophomore year. I think he realized my game had been raised coming to Montverde. These days, he just sticks to the domestic League for old guys.
My inspiration: My country. Based in Australia. I am always representing my county and my city, every time I step out on the court. All the support back home gives me motivation.
Musician: Here, Drake, from back home, a guy called 360.