Ben Simmons’ affiliation with Florida’s Montverde Academy is so longstanding and prominent that it’s easy to forget the Eagles weren’t the only high school program he competed for. That’s because Simmons’ original high school career was spent at Box Hill High School in Melbourne, Australia.
Simmons, a native Australian, was coached at Box Hill by Kevin Goorjian, who wasted no time to support his former protege after the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night.
“He is going to be the best basketballer Australia has produced,” Goorjian, the brother of former Australia coach Brian Goorjian, told Omnisport on Tuesday. “There was a quote that came up that if you get the No. 1 pick and you don’t take Simmons you should be fired. I’m totally behind that. He is the No. 1 pick. It’s clear.”
There’s little question that Goorjian has a personal bias in Simmons’ favor, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. Few doubts have emerged that the 76ers will select the versatile now-former LSU player with the top overall pick. If any Philadelphia fans do harbor questions, they should probably go seek out Goorjian now. He’ll get them straightened out.
“He is going to be special,” Goorjian told Omnisport. “He just has to stay injury-free and keep developing.”