In the past few years, Ben Simmons has fought hard to push himself and his basketball career forward. While he may still have much of his career ahead of him, he has done enough to establish himself as one of the greats to watch out for in the next decade. Watching the forward play, it is funny to think that he almost opted for another sport.
Simmons’ love story with the game started out in Australia and has seen him shuttle between the United States and the Island country throughout his career. The towering Philadelphia 76ers forward dropped out of school to further his career professionally. The move paid off as he was the 2016 NBA Draft’s number one overall pick, becoming only the third Melbourne-born player to achieve the record.
Ben Simmons’ Biography and Early Beginnings
Simmons was born in Australia, in the inner-city suburb of Fitzroy in Melbourne on July 20, 1996. His family later moved to Newcastle before Ben turned two years old. It was here that he started participating in sports – basketball and rugby – at the age of seven. He turned out for the Newcastle Hunters under-12 basketball team, and the Western Suburbs (junior rugby league), and South Newcastle in the Newcastle rugby league.
From the age of 10, he went on to play basketball and Australian rules football in Melbourne, winning several accolades for his efforts in both sports. He would eventually opt to pursue basketball professionally when his football coach decided to play him as a ruckman, a position the young player wasn’t fond of. He would later turn out for BoxHill Senior Secondary School, bagging a scholarship with the Australian Institute of Sports in 2012. His career took him to the USA, but not before he had represented his country at the 2012 FIBA Under-17 World Championships, leading them to win the silver medal.
In the US, he attended and played for Montverde Academy in Florida. Here, he won several MVP honors for his incredible contributions in his junior season. He retained his MVP honors the following season. Simmons was also named the winner of the Morgan Wootten Award for his exemplary leadership and character both on and off the hardwood. By the end of the season, ESPN.com bestowed the young forward with the title of the No.1 power forward and the No.1 player in the country.
Ben Simmons played his first game for Louisiana State University on November 13, 2015, where he recorded an impressive 11 points and 13 rebounds in a win over McNeese State. The season has largely been deemed a failure, as LSU ended the season with an 18-13 record for their regular season and an 11-7 record for in SEC play. However, Simmons’ individual contribution was exemplary, landing him on the All-Southeastern Conference first team, and the All-SEC Freshman team. He was also voted the 2016 Freshman of the Year and led his team in all the major stats categories excluding three-points and free throw shooting. Simmons has also received praise from the likes of the legendary Magic Johnson who regarded him as the best all-around player since LeBron James.
Ben Simmons waived his remaining three years of college eligibility and declared for the 2016 NBA draft in March 2016. He also signed with Klutch Sports, an American sports agency in preparation for his professional career. On June 23, 2016, he was picked by Brett Brown, the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, who was former coach of the Australian national team and a friend to Ben’s family. He became the first-ever player in the modern era to be drafted with zero NCAA tournament experience.
Simmons’ passing ability and spatial awareness was soon tested in his first outing with the 76ers in the 2016 NBA Summer League. He earned himself a place in the All-Las Vegas Summer League first team. Unfortunately for the rising star, he fractured his right ankle doing the team’s last training camp ahead of his rookie season. He was initially ruled out for three to four months but was eventually sidelined for the rest of the season in February 2017, as the healing process was behind schedule.
Having been sidelined for a full season, his strength and fitness were called into question. However, he would go on to dispel those doubts as he broke a series of records and joined the ranks of greats such as Oscar Robertson, Allen Iverson, and Magic Johnson in the 2017-2018 season. By the end of the season, he had been named the Eastern Conference Rookie Player of the Month four times. That season, Simmons became the only player in the history of the NBA to record at least 170 points, 100 rebounds, and 80 assists in his team’s first ten games. He also became the third rookie, behind Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson to hit 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists. Simmons ended the season by claiming the top spot from Allen Iverson who held the record for his team’s assists by a rookie.
Simmons had represented the Australian national team at the 2013 FIBA Oceania and missed out on the 2016 Rio Olympics due to the injury that denied him the 2016-2017 season with the 76ers.
Ben Simmons’ Net Worth
The impressive forward is still in the early days of his professional career and definitely has a lot of accomplishments ahead of him. Still, he is already sitting on some good money. While his second-year rookie contract worth the 76ers is worth $12 million, he signed a lucrative deal with Nike worth about $20 million. He is evaluated by various sources to be worth something between $15 million and $50 million, but none of the figures has been authenticated.
Parents and Family – Dad, Mom, and Sister
Ben comes from a rather large family. His mother, Julie, who is from Australia met his father, Dave Simmons in 1991, and they got married in 1994. Ben Simmon’s father is also Australian but was born in America where he played for the basketball team of Oklahoma City University. He would eventually turn pro in 1989 with the Melbourne Tigers, an Australian NBA team.
Ben’s mother had four children from a previous marriage: Melissa, Emily, Liam, and Sean. From his parent’s union, he has an older biological sister, Olivia. Even though there are fifteen years in between Ben who is the last child of his mother, and Melissa, his parents opted to raise them all as one happy family.
Who is Ben Simmons’ Girlfriend?
So it appears the increasingly talented NBA star is winning off the court as well. In early 2018, Ben Simmons revealed that he was dating singer and actress Tinashe. However, it was not really a surprise to his fans that he was dating the singer. They had dropped countless clues beforehand with the pictures they were posting on Instagram. Also, Tinashe was attending all his games and seating in some privileged seating areas.
During an interview with a local Philadelphia radio station on Valentine’s day in 2018, she revealed that her favorite 76ers player was Ben Simmons. Tinashe played the role of Carrie Baker as a child in the 2004 animated Christmas movie, The Polar Express. The singer won the 2014 BET Award for Best New Artist and the 2015 Soul Train Award for Best New Artist. In April 2018, she released her third studio album Joyride.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
Simmons has often been praised for his speed and athleticism despite his size. The forward stands at an intimidating height of 2.08 m (6 feet 10 inches), making him taller than the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Only people in the ranks of Shaquille O’Neal – and there are few to none – stand taller than the 76ers star player.
Ben Simmons weighs 104kg (230 lbs), which again makes him a few kilograms heavier than a reasonable percentage of NBA players.