Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Bentil Leads We R 1 to Atlantic City Title, Talks Visits
GALLOWAY, N.J. — Ben Bentil and Abdul Malik Abu battled for position in the paint during the 17U championship game of the “Live in AC” event.
In the end, Bentil prevailed, scoring a game-high 18 points as We R 1 beat Abu and Expressions Elite, 59-49, for the title.
“Malik is like a brother to me, we always go at it,” Bentil told SNY.tv. “So it’s a great opportunity every time we get to go at each other.”
Bentil also showed his athleticism by flushing an alley oop dunk from teammate Derrick Jones, and also feeding Jones for his own dunk.
“It feels good to win it and we’ve always wanted to win during the summer so we got it done,” Bentil said.
As far as schools, the 6-foot-8 forward from Middletown (Del.) St. Andrew’s is being recruited by Georgetown, Providence, Miami, St. Joe’s, Temple, N.C. State, Maryland and Rutgers.
St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli and Providence associate head coach Andre LaFleur watched the final.
“I’m actually planning on visiting Georgetown, Miami and Providence,” Bentil said.
As for Georgetown, Bentil said, “It’s a great school. First of all, my academics is most important. Basketball will take care of itself. Basketball is not a guarantee, so every school I think is a great program. I just look for a better academic program, and the basketball will take care of itself.”
On Miami, he said, “Great place. Great environment. Great academics.”
On Providence, “Same things. They’re all great schools.”
Bentil is a powerful four man who can transition into a three.
“He works extremely hard, he’s one of the hardest working players out there,” We R 1 coach Terrell Myers told SNY.tv.
“He can shoot the ball extremely well. He’s become a better passer. It’s him defending the perimeter. Being more of a defensive player on the perimeter at 6-8. That’s one of the thing she’s going to have to do at the next level. He’s a four-three, but as he develops I think he’s going to be a three because he’s a tough kid that doesn’t mind defending.
“He came over here as a raw five and you can see the work he’s put in in three years. With him working, I think he’s going to be a three for somebody’s team and really helping out.”
As far as a timetable Myers said, “We’re going to set up some visits in August and hopefully make a decision by September.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.