Bentil Continues Outstanding Pro Hoops Career In Greece

Ben Bentil is no stranger to travel. The Ghana native has been around the world and back thanks to his amazing basketball talent.

It’s been a long journey for Bentil since the six-foot-nine-inch hoopster first left his hometown of Sekondi-Takoradi. From academic basketball leagues in the US to pro ranks in China and Europe, he has pursued basketball across the globe. 

Numerous Africans are playing in the NBA, however, Bentil holds a special distinction. His stellar career on the hardcourt includes a stint as the first Ghanaian player to ever appear in the NBA. 

Bentil’s career has no end in sight. The 25-year-old currently plays for Panathinaikos of the Greek Basket League and Euroleague. 

From Ghana to the US

Bentil’s precocious athletic ability earned him international attendance at an early age, which provided the fledgling star with opportunities to advance his sports career. 

One of Bentil’s more aggressive pursuers was the prestigious Haverford School in Pennsylvania, a learning institution with a history of producing pro-level athletes. Bentil heeded the call. In 2010, he relocated to the US to study and play sports on a scholarship at Haverford, where his skills on the court quickly developed during his year of attendance.

Soon, the Ghanaian craved a new challenge and transferred to St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware. Although Bentil excelled at basketball and soccer for the St. Andrew’s Cardinals, hoops proved to be his ticket to the next level. 

A College Star is Born

US college recruiting services Rivals and Scout pegged Bentil as one of the top-100 basketball players in the class of 2014. The designation grabbed the attention of NCAA college programs, including Bentil’s eventual choice–Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Bentil made an immediate impact as a freshman for the Providence Friars. The big man started 23 of 34 games while averaging 6.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 21.5 playing minutes per game. 

He achieved a tremendous sophomore campaign in 2016, earning conference honors as a First-team All-Big East selection and being named Big East Most Improved Player. That season, he led the Big East in four scoring categories: points per game (21.1), rebounds per game (7.7), field goals (246), and free throws (194). 

In other highlights, Bentil posted 31 points and 13 rebounds in a January overtime win at eventual NCAA champion Villanova. He scored a career-best 42 points against Marquette several weeks later. 

Bentil forewent his final two years at Providence and declared eligibility for the 2016 NBA Draft after the Friars were eliminated in the second round of the NCAA tournament.