Ben Simmons ends senior year on a high, wins 3rd straight National Championship
Australian forward Ben Simmons has capped off his storied high school basketball career by winning the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Championship for the third year in a row.
Montverde Academy wins their 3rd straight National Championship
Simmons posted 20 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists as Montverde Academy defeated Oak Hill Academy 70-61 to capture the illustrious national championship trophy at the world famous Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Oak Hill came out of the gates strong, opening the game with a 13-4 run thanks to some easy looks inside the paint.
After inadvertently getting poked in the eye, Simmons was visibly in a lot of pain when he took to the bench late in the first quarter.
“I thought I was going to be out for the whole game,” Simmons said after the game. “But I just put some eyedrops in and got back in the game.”
With Simmons remaining on the bench and his return doubtful, Montverde managed to keep the game close heading into the half - trailing just 33-26.
Montverde opened up the second half with a 9-1 run thanks to some timely 3-pointers from Fard Muhammad, with Ben Simmons turning into more of a facilitator due to lack of vision in his right eye.
As they've been doing all season, Montverde was able to make big plays down the stretch - capped off by a Ben Simmons steal and slam as the Eagles would ultimately defeat an Oak Hill squad with a 47-0 record heading into this fixture.
Simmons scored 13 of his 20 points in the 4th quarter, walking away with all-tournament team and tournament MVP honours - averaging 19.3 ppg & 11.7 rpg over the tournament.
Ben Simmons | Credit: McDonalds
After competing in the McDonald's All American game on Wednesday night, Simmons had a 4am flight to New York City the very next morning to join his Montverde squad for what would be the last tournament of his high school career. Montverde defeated Greensboro Day and Findlay Prep en route to the Championship game in what was one of the toughest DICK'S Championship fields in recent memory.
“I don’t really get tired,” Simmons said. “I get beat up but I don’t really get tired.”
As the game clock ticked down to zero, the MSG crowd behind the Montverde bench began to chant "Three! Three! Three!".
"It's amazing and surreal. I can't even describe it. It's my third one, third year at Montverde, so I'm just blessed"
Ben Simmons finishes his career at Montverde with a 62-1 record - winning three national championships and two DICK'S Nationals MVP awards, while propelling himself to elite status, ultimately being ranked the #1 player in his class.
The LSU signee, who has snatched a plethora of individual accolades this year - the Morgan Wootten Award, Naismith Trophy and Gatorade Player of the Year award, to name a few - will fly out to Portland, Oregon to play in the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit on April 11th. Simmons will be joined by fellow Australian Thon Maker, as well as New Zealand talent Tai Wynyard.