CLEMSON — Clemson’s staff did a nice job recruiting 6-foot-10 forward Ben Middlebrooks and received an assist from Ben’s sister as well.
Middlebrooks committed to the Tigers on Monday night, announcing his decision on social media. He was originally scheduled to be a part of the class of 2022 but will reclassify and sign with the Tigers for 2021.
Middlebrooks spoke with ClemsonSports.com about why he chose Clemson.
“Obviously Clemson’s had success, especially recently, going to the tournament twice, going to the Sweet 16 and everything like that is great,” Middlebrooks said.
“And then a huge part of it was my sister being there. She always would keep me up to date on everything that was happening. That was a huge part of what made me see Clemson at first. It was a big factor in me following Clemson.”
Ben’s sister is Mackenzy Middlebrooks, who plays tennis for the Tigers. He has been on campus several times visiting Mackenzy and has also heard from her about what it is like attending Clemson.
“She just said it’s a small college town that is amazing,” Ben said. “Great people. The atmosphere there is obviously an awesome place to be. She’s just loved her years there, which has been a big help to me.”
Middlebrooks chose Clemson out of a final 5 that included Georgia, Ole Miss, Dayton and Oral Roberts. He is reclassifying in order to try to come in and help Clemson right away.
Middlebrooks was impressed by Clemson’s NCAA Tournament run to the Sweet 16 a few years back and said an opportunity to play in the ACC for a winning program was too much to pass up.
“I felt like I was ready to take that next step to college basketball and I felt like I was just ready to go,” Middlebrooks said. “Clemson being a school that has been like a dream school of mine and offering me for 2021 was huge. I felt like I was ready to go and it was time.”
Middlebrooks describes himself as a stretch 4 who can also go inside and score around the basket if needed.
With him reclassifying for the class of 2021, he expects to come in and compete for playing time right away.
“I’m looking to come in and learn from all of the guys who are already there and see what they’ve done and basically do what the team needs me to do. My main goal is to help win. So whatever needs to be done I’m going to do,” Middlebrooks said.
“There are things I need to work on, there are things I need to get better at, and that’s part of the reason I’m coming to Clemson is I feel like that’s somewhere I can come and develop my game and get better and play after college. They feel like if I’m willing to come in and work and fit into the system, they feel like there’s definitely an opportunity for me to play right away.”