UTM alumni Benzor goes pro
Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 12:02 am
By: UTM Sports Imformation
Benzor Simmons, who starred on the UT Martin men’s basketball team from 2007-11, has signed a professional contract to continue his playing career with the Caneros de la Romana of the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto in the Dominican Republic.
The move was announced by Caneros general manager Jorge Ubiera and head coach Carlos Medina recently.
The Caneros — the defending league champions — will open operations on Tuesday to prepare for the season.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound southpaw cemented his status as one of the best players to ever don the Skyhawk uniform this past season.
Simmons became the program’s 15th member of the 1,000 Point Club on Jan. 24 at SIU Edwardsville, ending his stellar four-year career with 1,130 points — the eighth highest total in UT Martin history.
He showed a knack for scoring at will in each of his last two seasons — tallying 789 points in that span — and netting a career-best 35 points at Evansville on Dec. 19, 2009.
Simmons also etch-ed his name into the record books last Dec. 4 at Eastern Kentucky, when he was a perfect 14-for-14 from the free throw line, setting the single game UT Martin record for most made free throws without a miss.
Overall, he ended his career ranking third on the program’s all-time list in free throws made (341) and free throws attempted (420).
For the 2010-11 campaign, Simmons averaged a team-high 12 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest.
He also led UT Martin in free throw percentage this spring with an .870 average from the charity stripe.
Simmons is the third Skyhawk men’s basketball player to turn pro in recent years.
Lester Hudson has logged professional playing time in both the National Basketball Association and overseas since his UT Martin career ended.
Meanwhile, UTM alum Jared Newsome has played professionally in Europe and also saw action in the NBA’s Development League.
Fans can follow Simmons’ progress and his professional team on Facebook.
The team’s official facebook page is located at http://www.facebook.com/caneros.delaromana.