Ben Simmons has developed from a relatively unknown student at Box Hill Secondary School two years ago to being Barack Obama’s favourite up and coming Basketball star in less than two years.
His popularity has been growing rapidly but after a recent approval from Barack Obama it has skyrocketed.
It started when President Obama, giving a speech in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, noted that Ben Simmons was “around here” and then sarcastically described the future talent as an “OK basketball player”.
As if that wasn’t enough, shortly after President Obama was asked via Twitter which NBA great he’d select from Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan or LeBron James during a social media campaign called “askpotus”.
It was then the 44th President of the United States went with his hometown hero.
“love em all, but as a bulls fan got to go with mj,” Obama tweeted. Then referenced Simmons with “in baton rouge, just met lsu freshman ben simmons – will be great,” he added.
love em all, but as a bulls fan got to go with mj. in baton rouge, just met lsu freshman ben simmons – will be great https://t.co/Du1gflVYp4
— President Obama (@POTUS) January 14, 2016
Simmons ability has exceeded many basketball scouts and very few would tip against him being the NBA’s number one pick in this year’s draft.
Simmon’s rising stock comes primarily from a number of ridiculous “video game” type performances during his freshman year in college.
Simmons leads all first-year players in scoring, rebounds and assists.
|Ben Simmons College Averages||NCAA Ranking|
During the speech Obama also noted Simmons’ father, former Melbourne Tigers legend Dave Simmons, and US secretary of education Arne Duncan, who played for Eastside Melbourne Spectres in the NBL in 1987-88, had played against each other.
“They can hoop, but I think they would both acknowledge that Ben is better,” Obama said.
Duncan also made headlines when he won the Most Valuable Player award in the NBA All-Star weekend in 2014.
Ben Simmons responded via Twitter, letting everyone know he’d love the chance to go one on one with the President.
“Maybe I’ll take him down to LSU to shoot some hoops.”
— Rob Krieger (@Rob_Krieger) January 14, 2016
Simmons is on path to being a transcendent basketball superstar, the kind you only need one name to identify. Players like Magic, Shaq and Kobe… And it’s these same players who are proclaiming Simmons and the next NBA superstar.
Magic Johnson tweeted earlier this month that he thinks Simmons is the best player since LeBron James.
LSU's Ben Simmons is the best all around player I've seen since LeBron James came out of high school straight to the NBA!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 6, 2016
Kobe Bryant has also told media he thought he was fantastic and had loads of potential.
And then you have Shaq who has already labeled Simmons as “the best player in the world”.
Ben Simmons will be the number one draft pick this season and his life will never be the same again… even the President knows it.
Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers next game is against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Sunday (12:30pm AEDT).