Benjamin David Simmons was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to David and Julie Simmons. His father played college basketball for Oklahoma City University in the United States and later joined the Melbourne Tigers in Australia's National Basketball League. Simmons has five brothers and sisters: Melissa, Emily, Liam, Sean and Olivia. He began playing basketball at the age of seven for the Newcastle Hunters' under-12 representative team. In January of 2013, Simmons moved to the United States to attend and play basketball at Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. The following year, Simmons averaged 18.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game as a junior. He led Monteverde to a 28-0 record and a victory in the High School National Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Simmons took home MVP honors, tallying 24 points and 12 rebounds in the championship game. In his senior season, Simmons averaged 28.0 points, 11.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.6 steals per game while shooting 70.7 percent from the field and recording 24 double-doubles. He was then named the Naismith Prep Player of the Year and the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Simmons was also chosen to play in the annual McDonald's All-American Game and was named the Morgan Wootten Award winner, given annually to the best male McDonald's All-American player who exemplifies outstanding character, exhibits leadership, and embodies the values of being a student-athlete in the classroom and in the community. In addition, Simmons was tabbed Mr. Basketball USA and named a First-Team Parade All-American. Simmons has been involved in numerous charitable causes since joining the NBA. He holds annual basketball camps in both Australia and the United States to teach basketball skills to children and young adults. Since 2018, Simmons has hosted "Coats for Kids," an event organized to provide every student at a Philadelphia elementary school with a coat for the winter. In 2020, he took part in the #AllInChallenge, raising funds for food-related charities such as Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry. Learn more about Simmons by following him on Twitter (@BenSimmons25) and on Instagram (@bensimmons). Even before he stepped onto the court in Baton Rouge, Simmons came with quite a reputation. The 6-foot-10 lefty forward was rated as the top prospect in 2015 and had led Montverde Academy to a high school national tournament title. Statistically, Simmons had an excellent season. He averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals, but the Tigers did not surround the prized forward with enough perimeter shooting to help the team be more successful. The forward showed his array of skills with games such as 43 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and five steals in a win over North Florida. He also had 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a win over Oral Roberts. LSU went 11-7 in SEC play, but it lost in the second round of the SEC Tournament and were not invited to the NCAA Tournament. Simmons was named SEC Rookie of the Year, All-SEC First Team, and a First Team All-American. After one season with LSU, Simmons applied for the 2015 NBA Draft and was chosen with the first overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers.