David Simmons
Personal information
Born April 13 1963 () (age 56)
Nationality American / Australian
Listed height 205 cm (6 ft 9 in)
Listed weight 112 kg (247 lb)
Career information
High school South Bronx
(Bronx, New York)
College Oklahoma City
Playing career 1989–2001
Position Power forward / Center
Number 25
Coaching career 1999-present
Career history
As player:
1989-1996 Melbourne Tigers
1994 Westchester Stallions
1997 Newcastle Falcons
1998 Sydney Kings
1998–1999 Newcastle Falcons
1999–2001 Canberra Cannons
As coach:
2003–2005 Hunter Pirates (interim & asst.)
Career highlights and awards
NBL champion (1993)
NBL All-Star (1990)
No. 25 retired by Melbourne

David Simmons (born April 13, 1963) is an African-American former professional basketball player who played 13 seasons in the Australian National Basketball League (NBL). He was named an NBL All-Star and won an NBL championship with the Melbourne Tigers, who retired his No. 25. He also had a two-year coaching stint with the Hunter Pirates. He is the father of current NBA player Ben Simmons.

Playing career Edit

A New York City native, Simmons attended South Bronx High School in The Bronx before playing college basketball for Oklahoma City University during the 1980s.[1] After graduating from Oklahoma City and moving around Central and South America for a short while, Simmons signed with the Melbourne Tigers of the Australian National Basketball League in 1989.[2]He and fellow American Dave Colbert were fan favorites in Melbourne as they brought immediate success to a booming franchise. In his first NBL game, Simmons scored 28 points against the Hobart Devils. He backed this up with a 25-point, 15-rebound effort against the Eastside Melbourne Spectres the next night. He went on to score 30 or more points seven times in his debut season, including a 40-point performance against the Brisbane Bullets on August 20. To conclude a successful season, Simmons, Colbert and Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze helped the Tigers reach the NBL post-season for the first time in club history. Simmons continued to play with the Tigers through the early 1990s, earning All-Star honors in his second season and helped the Tigers win the NBL championship in 1993.[3]

In the spring of 1994, Simmons joined the Westchester Stallions of the United States Basketball League before returning to the Melbourne Tigers for the 1994 NBL season. Simmons was considered the ultimate team man as he adjusted his play to suit his role every season. However, following the conclusion of the 1996 season, the Tigers parted ways with Simmons as they wanted change with an import who could provide more offence than what they felt Simmons could give the team. Simmons subsequently joined the Newcastle Falcons in 1997 but managed just one season with the club. He joined the Sydney Kings a month into the 1998 season, but his stint did not last long, as he left the club after appearing in just six games.[4]

In December 1998, Simmons returned to the Newcastle Falcons, signing with the club for the rest of the 1998–99 NBL season as a replacement for sacked import Todd Mundt.[5][6]Following the conclusion of the NBL season, he joined the Rockhampton Rockets for the 1999 QBL season.[5]

In September 1999, Simmons signed with the Canberra Cannons as a naturalized Australian to replace injured import Clayton Ritter.[5] He played two seasons for the Cannons but finished his career on a sour note when he was released by the club with six games to go in the 2000–01 season due to off court issues that were not disclosed to the public.[3]

Coaching career Edit

In 2003, Simmons was hired by the Hunter Pirates as an assistant coach for the 2003–04 NBL season. However, in December 2003, he took over the head coaching job on an interim basis after the club controversially sacked Bruce Palmer just months into the Pirates' debut season.[7] He returned to an assistant coaching role for the 2004–05 season after the club hired legendary Australian coach Dr. Adrian Hurley.

Personal Edit

Simmons and his wife, Australian native Julie, have two children, daughter Olivia and son Ben.[8] Simmons also has four step-children in Melissa, Emily, Liam and Sean; Emily is the wife of NFL player Michael Bush.[9] His son, Ben, played college basketball for Louisiana State University (LSU), and was selected with the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. His long-time friend, David Patrick, is Ben's godfather and was an assistant coach at LSU during Ben's lone college season.[10]

References Edit

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External links Edit

  • NBL on Fire player bio
  • profile
  • NBL stats