Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dominant Big Man Plays under Radar

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dominant Big Man Plays under Radar

Article excerpt

Now this is truly a Big Ben of Pittsburgh sports. At 6 feet 10, 255 pounds, he is on the large side of high school basketball players, and his big statistics suggest he is one of the most dominating players in Western Pennsylvania.

But maybe you have never heard of this "other" Big Ben. It's OK, because Ben Pollock plays in relative anonymity.

Despite his size, despite his averages of 31 points, 19 rebounds and 7 blocks a game, Pollock isn't even a blip on the WPIAL or City League radar.

That's because he doesn't play in either league. Pollock plays for Cheswick Christian Academy, a tiny K-12 school that plays in the Southwest Christian Athletic Conference. Located northeast of Pittsburgh near Springdale and Harmar townships, Cheswick Christian has 55 students (boys and girls) in grades 9-12 and the SWCAC is maybe tantamount to junior varsity basketball at many WPIAL schools.

Pollock (pronounced PAUL ick) is most certainly the BMOC at Cheswick, even if he likes to lay low. Heck, he doesn't even have a cell phone, getting rid of it a few years ago because he claimed he never used it.

"I do Facebook sometimes," Pollock said.

But when you're 6-10 and averaging almost a triple double on a basketball court, it's hard not to be conspicuous, no matter the level. Pollock has more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in only three years at Cheswick Christian, and this year averages close to one 3-pointer every game. Pollock was home schooled through fourth grade before attending Trinity Christian for two years and then Evangel Christian through ninth grade.

But really, the biggest questions about Big Ben now are how good is he and are any colleges interested in him?

"We're this tiny little school that not necessarily on anyone's recruiting path," said Cheswick Christian coach Todd Rosio. "But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. …

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