Newcastle-raised superstar sets the bar high | PHOTOS, VIDEO Making Headlines: Basketball star Ben Simmons on the cover of Men’s Health.
Ben Simmons and dad Dave Simmons when Ben played for the Newcastle Hunters.
Ben Simmons with an old Newcastle Hunters jersey.
Ben Simmons in Newcastle in 2015 when he played a match for Louisiana State University at Newcastle Basketball Stadium at Broadmeadow. Picture: JONATHAN CARROLL
Dave Simmons in Newcastle in 2015.
Ben Simmons in 2014 with Box Hill Senior Secondary College head coach Kevin Goorjian. Photo:Eddie Jim
Ben Simmons playing for the Philadelphia 76ers.
TweetFacebookMen’s Health magazine.
Topics must admit that we hadn’t been paying too much attention to Simmons, who was raised in Newcastle and now plays for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.
But Newcastle Herald sports editor Robert Dillon grabbed our attention on Saturday when he wrote that Simmons was being compared to superstars like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James.
Making Headlines: Basketball star Ben Simmons on the cover of Men’s Health.
Then in one of those meaningful coincidences, we noticed Simmons on the magazine cover.
The article touched on the 21-year-old’s determined personality and ambition towinan NBA championship.
“You’ve got to set the bar high,” Simmons told Men’s Health.
“If you don’t set it high, you’re not aiming high enough, honestly. That’s the way I’ve thought since I came over here for high school.”
The article documented what Simmons had achieved in his career.
“The number one high school player in America – tick. The number one college player in America – tick. Selected number one in the 2016 NBA draft – tick. Now putting up historic rookie numbers to help propel the 76ers into the playoffs – tick.”
Simmons isthe son of former Newcastle Falcons forward and Hunter Pirates coach Dave Simmons.
The youngest of six kids, Ben Simmonswas born in Melbourne. Hisfamily moved to Newcastle when he was 18 months old.
Helearned to play basketball at Broadmeadow and becameaNewcastle Hunters junior,while his father coached the Pirates,former Herald journalistBrett Keeble wrote in 2014.
Simmons said at the time that he consideredNewcastle one of his homes.
“I’ve got a lot of homes now. I kind of look at Australia as home, not just Melbourne, because I lived in Newcastle for a lot of my life.
“I still keep in contact with a few people I went to school with and played basketball with, so I’m still good friends with them.
“That’s my earliest memories of basketball, playing in the Newcastle Hunters gym. I’d definitely love to come back when I have time, for sure.”
Simmons is 206cm (6’10) tall.Heearns about AU$8 million a season.
At age 19, he signed afive-yeardeal with Nike worth about US$20million.
Afterhe signed the deal, he appeared on The Tonight Show, where host Jimmy Fallon joked that he had “more millions than years ofyour life”.
USA Today reported thatSimmons was the number one target for Nike and Adidas.
“Final offers from both companies were higher than the original offers,” the article said.
“Adidas made a serious push and appealed to Simmons’ personality with personalised videos featuring DJ Khaled and Pusha T.
“Simmons was given the five-star treatment in a day-long session at Nike where he met with several people from multiple departments.”
He had previously signed deals with Foot Locker, Beats by Dre and Upper Deck, the story said.
On the web program, Kneading Dough, Simmons was asked when he realised hislife had changed financially.
His reply: Taxes.
He was also asked about the purchase he regretsmost since becoming a millionaire.
“There’s a few things,” he said, laughing.
“I had two savannah cats. It was a bad purchase,” he said, adding that they cost him $10,000.
Asked why he bought them, he said: “I just love animals”.
Simmonshas since taken steps to become smarter about managing his money.
He said the best business decision he’dmade was “firing my first financial advisor”.
Money aside, he saidhe wants tohelp use his profile to build basketballin Australia.
The Naming GameA high-profilesuperannuation fund for the mining sector, whichmanages $11 billion, has had another name change.
The Newcastle-based fund was previously known asAUSCOAL Super.
Then in 2015,tapping into the wellness trend, it changed its name toMine Wealth + Wellbeing.
Topics understands that miners were soon being spottedregularly at yoga studios, gyms andjuice bars.
Wordis, clean eating became a regular topicof conversation down the pit. Workers snacked on goji berries, kale chips and chia-seed pudding.
But, as everyone knows, trends change. Sometimes people get into something new, before returning to who they were originally.
Perhaps that’s what happened here because the super fund announced this weekthat it had changed its name toMine Super.
Now that’s a good-old, stock-standard name.
“Our transformation from Mine Wealth + Wellbeing into Mine Super reflects a renewed dedication to our heritage and our refreshed purpose and vision,” the fund said in a media release.
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