SIMMONS STUNS CZECHS
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Knox Commonwealth Bank Local Business Banking Junior Raider Ben Simmons is representing Australia with great success at the moment, playing in the FIBA under-17 World Championships in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Simmons returned from a stint at the AIS to come back to Knox to play in the U18/1s, as well as playing three games for the Knox Under Armour Raiders D-League team, where he averaged 7.3 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Standing 203cm tall, the 15-year-old Small Forward has been touted by Box Hill Coach Kevin Goorjian as the best athlete he’s seen go through the Box Hill Senior Secondary College in 22 years.
Simmons played in Knox’s U16/1 side last year that won the National Junior Classic and were runner-up in the Victorian Championship, as well as playing for the South East Eagles in the Knox Sportsco Junior Domestic Competition.
Despite being the youngest member of the Australian team, Simmons has been one of the standout players, not just for Australia but in the tournament.
In a low-scoring affair against the Czech Republic, Simmons produced a match-winning performance with 26 points at 80% from the field, along with ten rebounds and five steals in the 63-58 victory.
He backed this up with 13 points and 14 rebounds in the win against Egypt, with the Australians now sitting second on the ladder in their group with a 3-1 record, their only defeat to the United States.
Knox Basketball Operations Manager Simon Mitchell has witnessed the improvement in Simmons over the last 18 months.
“Ben’s development since joining the Raiders has been meteoric which shows he has a great dedication to his craft. It’s also indicative of the development work provided by his Raiders coaches in Tony Smyth and Scott Christiansen,” Mitchell said.
“Ben has unlimited potential in the sport and the pathways being provided for him combined with his work ethic and talent are going to provide him with special opportunities for the future. Knox wishes him all the best for the remainder of the World Championships.”
Australia face France (1-3) later today, with an opportunity to go through to the quarter-finals as the second-ranked team in their pool.
Simmons, son of Melbourne Tigers legend Dave, is not the only player in the U17 Australian outfit with a strong basketball pedigree. Dante Exum, son of former North Melbourne Giants Championship player Cecil, is currently the tournament’s leading scorer averaging 19 points per a game, whilst Jack Purchase, son of former Melbourne Tiger Nigel, is also a key member in the Australian line-up.