PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It seems like college recruiting is getting earlier and earlier — something Columbia Christian’s Ben Gregg is finding out firsthand.
For the high school sophomore, basketball is in his blood.
“My dad’s been a basketball coach my whole life, so I’ve grown up playing and shooting around,” Ben said.
Considering he’s the child of two basketball players, it only made sense the sport stole Ben’s heart as well.
“It just takes your mind off everything that’s going on in the world, around you,” he said. “Just get to have fun and relax.”
Ben plays on Columbia Christian’s basketball team, the Knights — a team he has big goals for.
“I want to have four state championships under my belt, that’s the main goal and I definitely think that’s a reasonable goal for this team,” Ben said.
He’s also focused on improving his own game.
“I want to be able to feel like I’m the best I’ve become and I’ve put my heart into the game and I worked my hardest,” he said.
While Ben is only a sophomore, the teen has received a lot of attention from Division I programs around the country, including Oregon, Oregon State and Texas.
“I think this has snowballed a little faster than either Ben or myself would have predicted, but I knew it was coming because he’s that level of a player,” coach Bart Valentine said.
Valentine also added that he thinks this is just the beginning for Ben, who practices year-round to develop his skills and become stronger.
“You put all those things together with his overall skill set right now and you’ve got a very, very good high-level Division I kid,” Valentine said.
But the craziest part about Ben?
His athleticism isn’t even his best quality.
“He’s such a high character kid,” Valentine said. “Yeah, he’s a great basketball player, he’s one of the top kids in the Northwest — but his character is so spotless also. He cares about his teammates first, he’s a great student, he does all the things that you would want a fine planer to be.”