It’s been an eventful summer for 2015 MVA graduate Ben Simmons, now a rising Louisiana State University (LSU) freshman. Earlier this month, Simmons impressed watchers at a Nike Basketball Academy workout by playing remarkably well against several NBA superstars.  This week, on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Simmons was in Hollywood, California, 2015 MVA graduate Ben Simmons, was a finalist in the 13th Annual Gatorade High School Male Athlete of the Year.  Exceptional Texas high-school QB Kyler Murray won this year’s honored Gatorade Male High School Player of the Year.  The winners for the event were named at a special ceremony-dinner Tuesday – a day prior to The ESPY Awards – and emceed by ESPN’s Hannah Storm. 

For more information on the annual awards presentation, as well as the 12 Gatorade National Players of the Year from the 2014-15 season, please visit HERE.

Simmons won the National Boys High School Basketball Player of the Year title last semester. Former Georgia University and NBA star Dominque Wilkins came to Montverde Academy last April to present the a 2014-15 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.   According that official March Gatorade press release, “The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Simmons as the nation’s best high school boys basketball player.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Simmons from nearly 440,000 high school boys basketball players nationwide.”

For Tuesday night’s 2014-15 Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year awards presentation, Simmons was joined by other premiere United States prep athletes.  There were 12 nominees, six male, six female.  In addition to athletic performance, “…players of the Year must excel in the classroom and demonstrate strong character.”  Winners are selected by a panel of nationwide sportswriters and commentators. The YouTube video of the Gatorade Player of the Year presentation is available for viewing here

Next month, Simmons, an 18-year-old native from Melbourne, Australia, returns to his home to participate in a sequence of exhibition games with his new college, the LSU Tigers – members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) – from August 15-22. The LSU Tigers’ pre-season basketball tour will feature matches in Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.  According to a Tuesday, July 14, 2015, article written by Kent Lowe, of LSUsports.net, “Simmons, who will be part of LSU’s exhibition trip in August to his home country of Australia, led Montverde to a 31-1 record in the 2014-2015 high school basketball season, and a third consecutive national championship at the Dick’s Sporting Goods National High School Tournament. He averaged 28.5 points and 11.8 rebounds while shooting 71.1 percent from inside the arc, also adding 4.0 assists per game. He was ranked the No. 1 recruit of the Class of 2015 by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. He won the 2015 Morgan Wootten (McDonald’s) National Boys Player of the Year, the Naismith Trophy Boys High School Player of the Year to go with this national play award. He was a McDonald’s All-American game selection and was invited to the 2015 Jordan Brand Classic game. On his high school community service resume’ he volunteered on behalf of Basketball Buddies, a literacy-outreach program and has been a life skill and study skills guest speaker and mentor in his native Australia.” For more information, please visit the following link, “Teenage Boomers star Ben Simmons to tour Australia with college team Louisiana in August.”