Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Simmons Is Eager to Play for Father ; but All-Star Games First

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Simmons Is Eager to Play for Father ; but All-Star Games First

Article excerpt

Much has changed for Blake Simmons in the last month. He graduated from Castle High School as a valedictorian, moved on campus at the University of Evansville and started working out for coach Marty Simmons, his father and the Aces' men's basketball coach.

But possibly the biggest adjustment?

"Having to call him 'Coach' instead of 'Dad,'" Blake said.

It's something the Simmons family anticipated when Blake committed to play at Evansville in May 2012 and later signed a binding letter of intent last November.

There are still moments when Marty can be Dad, however. One of them comes this weekend as Blake, a 6-foot-5 forward, plays for the Indiana All-Stars in a pair of games against their Kentucky counterparts.

"Having fun, I think, is the most important thing," Marty said. "It's about how prestigious being selected as one of 12 or 13 guys to represent your state. Blake worked hard for four years, and to see him be selected by his peers and coaches I think is just a tribute to that."

Indiana and Kentucky play Friday at Louisville's Freedom Hall before finishing the series at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday. Both contests will be preceded by the girls' Indiana-Kentucky games, which feature Aces women's basketball signee Dakota Weatherford out of Hamilton Heights High School.

Blake said making the Indiana All-Stars was his "biggest personal goal going into last season" - and that's a year he had to focus on something other than recruiting.

He always spent time around Evansville's program, but Marty seemingly made it a point never to directly recruit his son. Assistant coaches spoke to Blake, then attending Castle, after workouts and shootarounds. They developed a relationship with the sharpshooting forward as coaches do with any recruit. And they maintained it, enough that Blake knew he wanted to play for the Aces. …

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