plymouth_raiders_568Plymouth Raiders rebuilding process continued at a rapid pace with the capture of Brent Benson from Birmingham Knights, and the American is looking forward to a new challenge.

The 6’2″ guard became the fourth player already confirmed for the 2014-15 season alongside Josh Wilcher, Nick George and Louis Sayers. Benson made a strong impression on the league and finished with 23.1 points per game although his side ended their debut campaign without a single win to their name.

He said: “I’m really excited about joining the Plymouth Raiders this upcoming season and I’m already looking forward to the challenge of helping the team win in the BBL.

“Obviously, I was a little disappointed not to win last season, but I knew that I gave 110% and I was pleased with the work from my team-mates and coaches.

It was the second season in a row that the basement side in the BBL finished winless as new-boys Birmingham matched Mersey Tigers’ 0-33 record. However, Benson believes that pays tribute to the strength of the league as opposed to tarnishing its status and offered some advice for his former club.

He said: “The Knights not winning a game does not harm the reputation of the league. The BBL is a great league and it has great teams, so it made it tough because of the strength.

“The Knights went out each game and gave it their all. Could we have done better at times? Definitely, but even though we had loss after loss we went out each game with a clear mind trying to win.

“I think it would have been good for the team to start off in Division 1, get some experience, build a fan base up then move up to the BBL. But, I think with the right recipe the Knights can do great things if they continue building relationships with local schools and businesses in the community.

“An organisation needs to have leadership and experience on a team. As for the young and inexperienced players, they need to just work hard and be coachable. No matter what level you are at, you can always learn.”

The American was in high demand with several teams interested in his services, including other teams in the BBL. However, Benson opted to join the Raiders after being convinced by head-coach Jay Marriott about the club’s vision.

“There was interest from other BBL teams and in other countries, but I felt Plymouth was the right fit for me after I talked with Coach Jay (Marriott). We were on the same page about winning and doing great things in the BBL this season.”

Benson took the BBL by storm, amassing 120 points in his opening four matches, which included an impressive 45 point haul against Sheffield in October. He managed to put up double figures in each of his 29 appearances whilst recording two double-doubles.

And the 28-year-old even surprised himself with the amount of points he accumulated over the course of the season.

“I was extremely pleased with my overall performance. Honestly, I didn’t think I would produce the numbers I did due to not playing professionally for a couple of years.”

Prior to his move to the Knights, Benson had a stint in the NBA D-League with Springfield Armor in 2010, a year after making his professional debut with Polish top-division side Asseco Prokem.

The question will now be, whether the guard can still produce the goods on a better team where he won’t necessarily be the go-to man the majority of the time. On the flip side, Benson can enjoy a more relaxed role without the added responsibility of carrying a team and being double-teamed week-in, week-out.

He said: “I will be ready this upcoming season, and focussed on doing whatever it takes to help my team win. I do not think teams will be able to double team and trap me like they did last season.”

Benson expects to return to England at the beginning of September and is looking forward to joining up with his new team-mates and meeting the Plymouth fans. For the meantime, the Georgia native continues to run his business B3 Academy LLC, back in the States.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login