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.
Ben Gregg to Gonzaga: ‘I think they’re as close to a blue blood as you can get now’
By ADAM ZAGORIABen Gregg, the class of 2021 power forward from Clackamas (OR) and the Oakland Soldiers AAU program, has committed to Gonzaga, he told ZAGSBLOG.
The 6-foot-10, 224-pound Gregg said he also considered Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, Cal and Virginia, but opted for the Bulldogs after they offered him Aug. 25.
“I’m going to Gonzaga,” he told ZAGSBLOG ahead of his public announcement.
“I grew up in the Spokane area. My dad coached there in Spokane for the beginning part of my life and then I moved here [to Oregon] when I was like 7. So a lot of my family still lives in Spokane and my relatives, so I think it will be fun to have them close to me and obviously Gonzaga is a well-known program. I think they’re probably as close to a blue blood as you can get now.
“They’re No. 1 in the country this year preseason, so it’s kind of hard to say no to them.”
Gregg attended a preseason game last season at Gonzaga and said “we watch all their games all year so I’m really familiar with them. They’ve been talking to me since my summer going into my sophomore year, maybe a little my freshman year, too, so I built a good relationship with their staff.”
Assistant Brian Michaelson was the lead recruiter. After Washington native Paolo Banchero committed to Duke Aug. 20, Gonzaga zeroed in on Gregg.
According to 247Sports, Gregg is ranked No. 75 nationally and is the No. 2 prospect in Oregon.
He joins power forward Kaden Perry in Gonzaga’s 2021 class.
“I think they way they play my position is different from a lot of other schools,” Gregg said. “I think they really value where I play at. A lot of guys have success there, so that’s definitely a big reason why.”
Gonzaga has produced its share of pros from the frontcourt, including Brandon Clarke, Domantas Sabonis and Kelly Olynyk.
“A lot of stretch fours that shoot the ball and they like to play through them a lot,” Gregg said. “I definitely see myself playing in their system.
“[I’m a] big that can stretch the floor and shoot the three,” he added. “My IQ’s probably the best aspect of my game. I can post up a little guy on me, and if I have a bigger guy I can bring him outside. I definitely need to work on my defense and being able to go out on the perimeter and if I’m able do that, I think I’ll be pretty successful there.”
As for the upcoming season, Gregg is taking courses virtually due to the pandemic “until at least the second quarter which will probably be like November,” she said. “I have a feeling it’s going to be close to all year, if not all year.”
There’s a chance he won’t be able to play his senior season.
“It’s not looking too good right now but I’m doing a lot of individual workouts to stay stronger and stuff, working on my body,” he said. “I think I’ve gotten a lot better over this quarantine without playing AAU just because I’ve gotten stronger, faster, more athletic just by myself.
“So if we do [play], that’s awesome, But if we don’t I think I’m pretty set for going into college.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.