The MightyMite Sydney Kings are pleased to announce that the team will meet storied US college Louisiana State University in a special preseason game next month in Sydney.
The game will take place on Sunday 16 August at Brydens Stadium in the grounds of Sydney University and is expected to be a sellout given that LSU features one of the most talented rosters in American college basketball, led by potential superstar, Australian forward Ben Simmons.
Standing 208cm tall, the son of former NBL standout Dave Simmons is coming off a spectacular high school career in the United States where he helped lead his Montverde Academy team to a remarkable three consecutive national championships.
In his final high school campaign, he averaged 28 points and almost 12 rebounds per game and was named as the Naismith Prep Player of the Year and Gatorade National Player of the Year. Most judges believe he will be the number one pick in next year’s NBA draft and his game has been favourably compared to NBA legends like LeBron James and Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson.
Simmons is the headline act in an exceptionally strong line-up that also features countryman Darcy Malone, a 213cm centre from Canberra, not to mention another star freshman in Antonio Blakeney, with outstanding head coach Johnny Jones leading the way.
MightyMite Sydney Kings Head Coach Damian Cotter is excited that his team will have a tough early test as they head into what promises to be one of the most competitive NBL seasons on record.
“It’s early in our preparation, but I think it’s great for our team and our fans that we are playing this game against LSU,” he said.
“We get an opportunity to see Ben Simmons, who is an outstanding player and a high-quality person, and obviously the Tigers are a team that will be a strong contender in US college basketball this year.”
“It’s going to be a tough outing for us, but I know my guys will be up for the challenge.”
Interestingly, LSU has a long connection with Australia. Australian basketball legend and Hall of Famer Eddie Palubinskas, who led the 1976 Montreal Olympics in scoring, attended the college, as did Maree Jackson, mother to superstar women’s player Lauren Jackson.
Louisiana State, which has produced NBA superstars like Shaquille O’Neal and one of the greatest college players ever in ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich, also has ties with the Sydney Kings, with former Tigers Darnell Lazare and Charles Carmouche suiting up for the purple and gold in recent years.
Tickets are now on sale for the game and are expected to be in high demand.
UPDATE: Tickets for the game are now sold out.
Sydney Kings vs. Louisiana State University
Sunday 16 August
Sydney University Sports & Aquatic Centre
Tickets available HERE