Basketball fans better get used to hearing Ben Simmons’s name, because this college baller is one of the hottest talents entering the 2016 NBA Draft. As fans eagerly await Ben’s official debut, here are 5 things about this NBA superstar in the making.
The 2016 NBA Draft is right around the corner, but the fate of Ben Simmons, 19, could be determined at the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery. Ben is one of biggest names entering the NBA, so get to know more about the basketball star who may just become the No. 1 draft pick.
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1. Ben comes from all the way from Down Under.
Though Ben will soon become a star in the U.S., he’s actually Australian. He was born in Melbourne after his American father, Dave Simmons, moved there. Ben’s parents, along with his five siblings, will wonder if he’ll end up with the team who wins the 2016 NBA Lottery draft on May 17. Will he go to the Philadelphia 76ers or wind up with the Los Angeles Lakers?
2. He takes after his father, a former international basketball star.
Ben is a second-generation basketball star, according to Sports Illustrated. His father was a 6’7 forward who played Oklahoma City College. After college, Dave played professionally for teams in Central and South America. He was invited to join the Melbourne Tigers in 1989, and the rest is basketball history.
3. He is already highly decorated.
Before Ben played for the Louisiana State University Tigers in 2015, he had already attained international basketball glory. At just 15 years of age, he was picked to join the Australian national team to play in the FIBA Under-17 World Championship in 2012. Ben and the rest of his teammate took home the Silver medal that year, according to Basketball Australia.
4. Ben would rather Brandon get picked first.
The 76ers have a 25% chance of getting the No. 1 pick. If Philly wins, Ben reportedly hopes they choose someone else, according to Yahoo. It’s not that Ben hates Philly, but going to L.A. may give him a major payday. Adidas has reportedly offered Ben a five-year shoe deal worth $10 million, with a $2 million signing bonus and $1 million in incentives. Nike is only offering $7.5 million and if Ben is drafted into the popular L.A. market, Nike might pony up more money than their competition.
5. He almost was a rugby star!
“I think I could have played at the professional level of Australian [rugby,]” he told Athlon Sports & Life, “but I stopped playing. It was a lot of running, and I’m not going to run the whole time unless I’m giving a lot to the team. I felt like I was running so much and wasn’t giving a lot to the team.” Ben will definitely give a lot to whatever team who picks him in the 2016 NBA Draft!
Who do you think will be the No. 1 draft pick, HollywoodLifers?