Ben Simmons

ben simmons philly mag dot com

Ben Simmons is the man and that’s why this is my second Famous Friday feature on him. I wrote about Ben here on the Project RACE blog back in January 2016 when he was a college freshman at LSU. In the last 21 months he has earned himself a repeat spot!

As I predicted, Ben was the number one pick in the 2016 NBA draft and signed with the 76ers in July 2016. But a couple months later during a training camp scrimmage he suffered a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot that kept him out for the entire 2016–17 season. It was a tough break for Ben, the team and the fans who were anxious to see this phenom play at the NBA level.

But now he is back and better than ever and the constant comment on Simmons is that he was “worth the wait!” In his official NBA debut, just last week, Ben scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Two days later he became the 11th player in NBA history and the first player in 76ers’ history to debut with consecutive double-doubles. In his third game, the very next day, he had18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as the only players ever to post 10+ points, 10+ rebounds and 5+ assists in their first three NBA games. In his fourth game, on 23 October, he got his first triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, becoming the third rookie in NBA history to record a triple-double in his first four games! I told you he’s the man. Plus, rumor has it that he’s grown two inches since being drafted, and is now just under 7’0”! I hope I’m still growing at 21!

Ben, who was born to a white-Australian mother and an African American father (Julie and Dave Simmons), even has dual Australian and American citizenship. Is that another kind of double-double?

– Karson Baldwin, Project RACE Teens Co-President

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