Australian prospect Ben Simmons makes great first impression

After a great first impression, Australia native Ben Simmons could be the best player in the class of 2015. (Bendigo Advertiser)

LONG BEACH, Calif. – There were plenty of established stars at the Pangos All-American Camp last weekend. We had multiple five-star prospects in the class of 2014, a few top-25 players from the class of 2013.

But the player who stole the show was a relative unknown heading into the event.

Ben Simmons, a 6-foot-8 Australia native, was the talk of the camp, with coaches and scouts constantly wowed by his athleticism and all-around game.

“It was for the experience,” said Dave Simmons, Ben’s father. “He’s been in Australia. It’s a new experience with new coaches.”

Because Simmons plays his high school ball outside of the United States, he will most likely not have a chance to be ranked in the class of 2015. However, if he does decide to come to America, there’s a good chance he would be No. 1 in the class.

Right now, Simmons has no immediate plans to transfer to a high school in the States.

“He has dual citizenship, so it’s an option,” Dave Simmons said. “It’s his second home. We’ll do it if the situation is right. At the least, it’s a great opportunity.”

Arguably the best prospect at the event, Simmons showed off his athleticism and skillset throughout the weekend. He runs the floor extremely well and really knows how to finish at the rim. In transition, Simmons is nearly impossible to stop and he created matchup problems for most opponents.

“I think he’s warming up to it,” his father said. “It’s a different style of play. In Australia, it’s very structured. Here, you’re fending for yourself. He’s getting better, learning how to get open.”

Dave Simmons has plenty of experience on the American basketball scene. He attended Oklahoma City University, but went over to Australia to play professional basketball in Melbourne.

He thought it was a great idea to have his son go against some of the best players in his age group in the United States.

Based on his initial performance, Ben Simmons certainly stacks up well.

“We see it on YouTube, but now we got to experience it,” said his father.

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