LSU signee Benny Simmons adds USA Today Player of the Year award to list of honors _lowres

Photo provided by Montverde Academy ( -- Ben Simmons of Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) as its 2014-15 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year


LSU basketball signee Benny Simmons, who is in Chicago preparing for the McDonald’s High School All-Star game to be played Wednesday night, has earned another national honor.

Simmons, a 6-foot-10 forward from Montverde Academy in Clermont, Florida, was named Tuesday as the USA Today Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

The player of the year honor is the fourth for Simmons, who signed with LSU in the early signing period in November after committing to coach Johnny Jones’ program 13 months earlier.

Simmons has already been honored as the Gatorade national player of the year and has won the Naismith Trophy and Wootten Award.

Simmons, who averaged 28.0 points, 11.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game this year, will play for the East squad in Wednesday night’s McDonald’s game at the United Center. The game, which is set for 8 p.m., will be televised by ESPN.

Simmons will be joined on the East squad by guard Antonio Blakeney, who also plans to be a college teammate of his good friend after committing to LSU on Jan. 2.

They will face a West squad that includes guard Malik Newman, a five-star prospect form Jackson, Mississippi. He lists LSU among the six finalists for his college choice.

Simmons will be the 16th player who has spent at least one season at LSU to play in the McDonald’s All-Star Game.

After the McDonald’s game, Simmons will rejoin his Montverde teammates for the Dick’s Sporting Goods National High School Tournament in New York.

Montverde, the two-time defending champion and the No. 2 seed for this year’s event, opens play Thursday with a 3 p.m. quarterfinal matchup against Greensboro Day of North Carolina.

Semifinals will be played Friday and the championship game is on Saturday. All games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.