The South East Melbourne roster is officially complete with the signing of import centre Keith Benson.
Benson played college basketball for Oakland University before being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 48th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft.
He has since played in Italy, Philippines, Belarus, China, Lithuania, Estonia and the NBA Development League.
Phoenix head coach Simon Mitchell is excited about what Benson brings to the team and the league.
“Keith is a very accomplished Centre with significant experience in both the US and abroad. He was an NBA G-League All-First teamer in 2017, an all-defensive team member, excelling in rim protection as well as a conference player of the year and defensive player of the year in college,” Mitchell said.
“Offensively, he has a great ability to run the floor, can face up on the perimeter or work down low in the paint with equal aptitude. What excites me are his rebounding numbers. He is a force at both ends on the boards.”
Benson, who spent last year playing in Germany, is looking forward to coming to the Phoenix and paying his trade in the NBL.
“I am excited to come to play in Australia and join the Phoenix. The NBL is a strong and growing league, and I’m happy to be a part of this team in their first year in the league,” the big man said.
“I’ve never been to Australia, but have some friends who have played there. I don’t know a great deal but do know that they drive on the left side of the road and people call it the land down under and it’s a beautiful place.”
Benson Career Achievements.
- NBA D-League champion(2016)
- All-NBA D-League First Team(2017)
- NBA D-League All-Defensive Team (2017)
- 2× NBA D-League All-Star(2016, 2017)
Benson’s signing completes the inaugural South East Melbourne Phoenix roster for the 2019-2020 NBL season.
“I feel like we have a good mixture of youth and veteran players, multiple and varying skill sets at each position and I think we can provide multiple looks at our opponents. We have a team that can run and utilise the open court, but I think we also possess the personnel able to grind in the half court when necessary,” Mitchell said.
“Most appealing though is I think we have been successful in putting together a group of men who represent the South East of Melbourne proud. They work hard, they will play the right way and they are good citizens.”
South East Melbourne Phoenix Roster