By: Nate Rubinstein (@Nate_Rubinstein)
Simmons is a last name that has been heard quite a bit this past month after Louisiana State University’s former freshman standout, Ben Simmons, was drafted No. 1 overall by the Philadelphia Sixers in the 2016 NBA Draft.
However, Connecticut high school basketball has its own high-profiled prospect that shares the same last name as Philly’s promising rookie, and his name is Jared Simmons, a senior guard for Newington High School. Simmons has made noise in the Connecticut ranks, as well as the AAU circuit, drawing attention from many college coaches, including a scholarship offer from Rider University.
Along with his offer from Rider, Simmons has been in conversations with Sacred Heart University, Quinnipiac University, University of Maine, University of Vermont and a few DII schools. Despite having a solid amount of DI interest heading into his senior year, Simmons is still considering to take a post-grad year at a prep school before heading to college.
“I am waiting to see how this summer plays out, as far as what schools are recruiting me,” Simmons stated. “I am going to finish up this year at Newington, and possibly look to post-grad.”
St. Thomas More, Putnam Science Academy and the Masters School are the three prep schools that intrigue Simmons for his potential PG year.
Ranked a two star DI recruit on Verbal Commits, Simmons is a talented scorer, averaging 20.1 points per game this past season according to MaxPreps, as well as scoring his 10000th point in his junior year. The now rising senior is also noted for his passing ability.
“I like to get my teammates involved to start off the game before I start to go in,” Simmons said. “It builds their confidence.”
During the school season, Simmons takes over the point guard responsibilities for Newington, but when running with the Connecticut Basketball Club during the spring and summer he moves to shooting guard in some situations, allowing him to prove to college coaches that he can play both guard positions.
To add onto the rigorous schedule that CBC follows, Simmons has found the time to attended elite camps at Quinnipiac University, Iona College and Providence College.
Simmons works out regularly at a local gym with his brother as he looks to put on more muscle to his 6-foot frame so that he can become a more appealing prospect to coaches at the DI level. If he improves his strength and speed he will be able to lock in a lot better on the defensive end, and there will be some more scholarship offers in his future.
For Newington’s upcoming season, the Indians will have a bit of a new look after having six seniors graduate in June.
“Losing six seniors is a big loss in the leadership roll,” Simmons said. “Nick Guadarrama and myself are going to look to take over that roll.”
A few new faces that Newington will look to fill the shoes of the seniors they lost include Isaac Ortiz, Tim Rivera and Andres Ithier Vicenty.
After having such an impressive regular season and then coming up short in both their conference tournament and the state tournament, Newington will be coming back to the gym hungry in early December. Simmons will be in charge of leading them to the promise land, also known as Mohegan Sun Arena.