|Born||April 13, 1963|
|Nationality||American / Australian|
|Listed height||205 cm (6 ft 9 in)|
|Listed weight||112 kg (247 lb)|
|High school||South Bronx (Bronx, New York)|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|2003–2005||Hunter Pirates (interim & asst.)|
|Career highlights and awards|
David Simmons (born April 13, 1963) is an American-Australian 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. Simmons is the father of National Basketball Association (NBA) player Ben Simmons.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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. Following the conclusion of the NBL season, he joined the Rockhampton Rockets for the 1999 QBL season.
In September 1999, Simmons signed with the Canberra Cannons as a naturalized Australian to replace injured import Clayton Ritter. 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.
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. He returned to an assistant coaching role for the 2004–05 season after the club hired legendary Australian coach Dr. Adrian Hurley.
Simmons is an African-American who became a naturalized Australian citizen. He and his wife Julie, a white Australian, have two children: daughter Olivia and son Ben. He also has four step-children: Melissa, Emily, Liam and Sean; Emily is the wife of NFL player Michael Bush. His long-time friend, David Patrick, is the godfather of his son Ben. Patrick was an assistant coach at Louisiana State University (LSU) during Ben's lone season there. Ben Simmons was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft.
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- "Ben Simmons takes shot as movie mogul with documentary about racism in Australia". PhillyVoice. October 8, 2019.
- Auerbach, Nicole (19 June 2015). "LSU's versatile Ben Simmons has a natural position: Star". USAToday.com. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- O'Neil, Dana (November 5, 2015). "From Melbourne to Baton Rouge, Ben Simmons has arrived at LSU". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
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- "Sixers select Ben Simmons with No. 1 overall pick in NBA draft". NBC Sports Philadelphia. June 23, 2016.