Bennie and the Bears

Bennie and the Bears

After a stellar weekend in Dallas, Tex., at Session 3 of the EYBL, Bennie Boatwright and his father are planning a trip to one of his favored suitors.

Bennie Boatwright is probably the busiest high school sophomore you'll ever meet. Three times a week, he works out with a trainer, conditioning and sprinting. During the week, he practices with his Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany high school team. On the weekends, he practices with California Supreme AAU. He gets home at 7, sometimes later, scratches out some homework, hits the hay and wakes up at 6 a.m. to "do it all over again."

Then, on the weekends, he goes out and dominates tournaments, just like he did last weekend at the EYBL in Dallas.

"He played real well this weekend, real well," said Boatwright's father, Bennie, Sr., a sergeant in the LAPD, who picked up the phone on Monday and called California assistant Gregg Gottlieb. "I reached out and talked with him and told him how Bennie played against Ivan Rabb, who's going to be the No. 1 player in the class, and Bennie was excited to play against elite competition. That was real good. He put up some good numbers."

Boatwright scored 66 points in three games over the weekend, and notched 23 points and 13 boards in his final game on Sunday, lifting plenty of eyebrows already trained on the four-star 2015 prospect.

"It was fun. I think I did well. I could have played better, but I learned a lot playing in the EYBL this weekend," Boatwright said. "The best part was playing against all the best competition ... I just tried to play my best, because even though [Rabb] is going to be the No. 1 player, I was going to go at him a little bit. I respected him a lot."

While Boatwright is now the apple of many eyes, there is one program which has so far stood out for both him and his father: The Bears.

"I watch Cal a lot. I watched how they run Allen Crabbe. I like him a lot," said Boatwright, who has been described as a Crabbe clone, though about an inch taller. "I'm a little taller, but yeah, I like his game a lot. We have similar games."

Seeing Crabbe's career arc in Berkeley is an interesting study for the 3.0-GPA student, who sees what the Cal staff was able to do with the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year.

"They develop players. He started out his freshman year, and he didn't go to the hole much, but this year, he mixed it up some more," Boatwright said. "I can create, and I have confidence in it, but I could be more patient on the court. That's the main thing."

While Boatwright has no location preference for his eventual college destination, he said that he wants to be in a program "that best fits my style of play ... it doesn't matter where it is."

Next month, Boatwright will visit one of those locations, though the date has yet to be nailed down quite yet, which was – in part – the purpose of Monday's call.

"I was talking to coach Gottlieb, trying to get up to Cal on an unofficial visit, in June," said Boatwright, Sr.

"We're just trying to get a date. Next weekend, we go to Minnesota, and after that EYBL will be over, and we'll know if we made the Peach Jam or not," added Boatwright, Jr. "I like them a lot. My dad talks to them a lot. They're really cool. I like them."

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