Boy Wonder From Down Under: Ben Simmons Interview
Ben Simmons is a 1996 born 6'8 small forward from Australia with considerable upside. The sweet shooting lefty wing forward is just a sophomore in high school but would rate as the top American sophomore in the nation if he played in the States.
He has been dominating top American kids that are two years older than him and shows a world of potential. He plans on playing college ball in a few years and word is he may come over for one year of high school ball in preparation.
On day one here at adidas Nations he helped his team to an upset win over an All Star group of rising seniors that included top 10 seniors Kasey Hill and Chris Walker as well as top 20 talent Brannen Greene. He's gotten Australia off to a perfect 3-0 record insuring that they will be in the showcase TV games on Monday in Long Beach. Today he went for 18, (8-11) 7& 3 and 13 (6-12) & 6.
He's a courteous young man that appears to have an excellent head on his shoulders. Having just turned 16, his answers were matter of fact and his Australian accent endearing. Look out for Ben Simmons, a bigtime prospect who will be coming to the States in a few years, and ultimately playing in the NBA.
NBADraft.net: Describe the adidas Nations event. With kids from all over the world competing in one place, what's this been like?
Ben Simmons: It's been great. Meeting kids from everywhere and getting a chance to play with my mates and represent my country. There're guys here from all over the place. Countries and regions all around the world from Africa, Asia and Europe so it's really a special event and I'm grateful to be a part of it.
NBADraft.net: You were over in the States for an event (Pangos) earlier in the summer and first gained some national attention over here at that event, how did that go?
Ben Simmons: I thought it went well. I played against guys that were bigger, stronger and smarter than what I had seen before, so it helped me.
NBADraft.net: People who were there felt that it took you a day to adjust to the talent level and get comfortable, and by the end you were one of the best players there. Did you feel you gained a lot of confidence playing there?
Ben Simmons: Yeah it's a different style of play here, so just took some time to get used to.
NBADraft.net: Talk about your basketball upbringing. How did you become interested in the game.
Ben Simmons: My Dad played NBL. And everyone in my family plays, so I grew up around the game.
NBADraft.net: For those who are unfamiliar, give a quick description of your game. What's your trademark?
Ben Simmons: Wow, I don't know. Good shooter. Making good decisions.
NBADraft.net: What areas of the game do you feel need the most work?
Ben Simmons: My body, getting stronger to be able to play inside. And my ball handling.
NBADraft.net: As far as the idea of possibly playing in Europe or coming over and playing college ball, there has been some talk that you might even come over a year early for a year of high school ball in the States to get some preparation. Has that entered your thoughts?
Ben Simmons: That's definitely an option. When the time comes, I'll talk it over with my parents, and we'll see what happens.
NBADraft.net: What about the option of turning pro in Europe, is that something you would consider as well.
Ben Simmons: Not right now. I'm focused on going to college in the US.
NBADraft.net: It must be a great experience playing over here at adidas Nations with your teammates from back home that you are accustomed playing with.
Ben Simmons: Yeah that's right. I've actually played with Dante Exum forever and have known him since we were 7 years old. The group are all from AIS (Australia Institute of Sport) so we have a good feel for one another and play as a team. AIS is a tremendous program.
NBADraft.net: Have you had any x-rays to determine how tall you might end up? You are 6'8 now, some have speculated you could end up 6'10 or more.
Ben Simmons: Yeah I had an x-ray on my wrist and my growth plates are still open.
NBADraft.net: Last question, is there a player in the NBA that you emulate? someone that you pattern your game after?
Ben Simmons: LeBron James. I guess I need to get a little bit bigger and stronger huh?
NBADraft.net: You are on your way, sir! I appreciate the interview and wish you the best of luck!
with him, Dante Exum and a group of other great young players us Aussies are in good hands for coming years
Can't wait for him to really develop. He's exactly what Australian basketball needs. Great article and interview!
This kid is going to be a monster in college, he's only 16 but already has a good all around game
Dad in NBL. Willie Simmons son ?
He's Dave Simmons son formely of the Melbourne Tigers.
This kid will be the next Kevin Durant.