Friday, February 10th, 2012 - 2:33 pm

Ben Simmons to Receive Bob Hayes Award

HAMMOND, Ind. — Purdue University Calumet alumnus and former men’s basketball standout Ben Simmons will be honored by his alma mater and the university’s alumni association, Saturday, Feb. 18.

Simmons, one of the top rebounders in university history, will receive the Purdue Alumni Calumet/Bob Hayes Alumni Athletic Award at halftime of the Peregrines’ 3 p.m. men’s home basketball game against Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Calumet College of St. Joseph. The Purdue Calumet women face Calumet College at 1 p.m.

The Purdue Alumni Calumet/Bob Hayes Alumni Athletic Award recognizes Purdue Calumet former athletes and other alumni who have distinguished themselves in athletics-related or other career fields. Hayes, a longtime former coach and athletic director, is revered as the father of Purdue Calumet athletics.

Simmons, who earned a Purdue baccalaureate degree in sociology in 1992 at Purdue Calumet, is founder of The International Sports Training Institute (ISTI), based in Houston, TX and ISTI DAKAR, based in Senegal, Africa. His institutes are curriculum-based basketball education facilities that provide teams, lessons and camps and are built on Simmons’ copyrighted 4 Principles of Sports Training and 4 Foundations to Athletic Workouts. His clients range in age from 3 to 56, including family members of current and former NBA players. ISTI also trains corporate executives and has international offices in Africa and Macedonia. 

Through his non-profit organization, The Ben Simmons Sports Foundation, Simmons advances sports playing and training, mentoring and educational opportunities for underprivileged young athletes    

“I decided long ago to dedicate my life to others,” he said. “I also have been proud to represent Purdue University Calumet all these years. It’s great to be able to come home and be recognized by my school.”

Simmons is the No. 2 rebounder in Purdue Calumet history with 952, good for an 8.9 game average during his four seasons of play (1987-92). He also holds the school single game rebounding record (26).

During his Purdue Calumet career, the former all-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference selection also averaged 9.1 points and is ranked among Purdue Calumet’s top 10 leaders in assists (228) and steals (190).   

After graduating from Purdue Calumet, Simmons trained extensively to play professional basketball and was invited to try out for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. He also played on two semi-pro championship squads and earned league MVP honors in 2002. His approach and commitment to training inspired his founding of ISTI.

Press release provided by Wes Lukoshus, Purdue Calumet University Relations Director.