Ben Simmons, a point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, was spotted playing basketball at Hagan Arena at Saint Joseph’s University. 

The Australian-born player started his career playing basketball at Louisiana State University in 2016, being named the number one overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft after his freshman year, heading to the Philadelphia 76ers.

After playing poorly against the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons officially requested a trade on Aug. 31. He later flew into Philadelphia and headed to the Sixers training camp where he entered unannounced. Returning to the team practice, he was later kicked out of practice. He was suspended from gameplay after refusing to participate in a practice drill.

Shortly after getting kicked out of practice, Simmons was spotted entering Hagan Arena at Saint Joseph’s University. Saint Joseph’s University consists of countless Philly sports fans, meaning some of them were not too pleased with Simmons’s arrival after wanting to bail on his team. While the idea of a celebrity from a loved team entering our beloved school was exciting, the reasoning behind his arrival was disappointing.

Photo of Hagan Arena taken by Christopher Shuman

Freshman Zach Williams explains, “after everything this city gave to him and the time we allowed for him to develop it was a blow to the gut when he turned his back on those who supported him.” Another student, Dylan Graham, sophomore, says, “[he] agrees with most of the decisions Simmons has made, yet some of the things he has done like skipping pre-season games are wrong because of his commitment to the team. He should be focused on the team rather than trying to get traded.” Most of the students do not fully support Simmons’ decisions but in terms of his arrival on campus Graham was “surprised but not overwhelmed.” 

While the community has not been extremely thrilled with Simmons’s decisions, they have been respectful welcoming in his arrival at Saint Joseph’s University. To seek a student’s perspective, we asked Dylan Graham to provide more of his insight on the situation.

What are your thoughts on Ben Simmons wanting to be traded?

“I agree with most of the decisions Simmons has made, yet some of the things he has done like skipping pre-season games is wrong because of his commitment to the team. He should be focused on the team rather than trying to get traded”

Were you surprised to hear that Simmons was on campus, what was your initial reaction?

“I was kind of surprised that he was on campus, I’d say I was surprised but not overwhelmed with his appearance.”

Do you think it was right for Simmons to be fined 1.4 million dollars? 

“I think the NBA was justified in their decision to fine Simmons, he has a responsibility to the team and should be held accountable for any neglect shown towards them.”

The situation has yet to be fully resolved and the team’s staff and fans are waiting on standby. Members of the Saint Joseph’s community hope to see a smooth transition for Simmons and are highly anticipating his return for the remainder of the season.