LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Deuce Benjamin shares the same name as his father, former New Mexico State basketball star William Benjamin. Now, they share the honor of being Aggies.
The Las Cruces High School star announced his commitment to New Mexico State Saturday, ensuring the one-time New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year will stay home for his college career.
Benjamin confirmed to ABC-7 that is a full basketball scholarship. He added he selected New Mexico State over heading to Cochise Junior College.
Benjamin is fresh off a senior campaign in which he averaged 25.3 points, 6.9 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Bulldawgs, who finished state runners-up to Volcano Vista last month.
However, the Bulldawgs won the NMAA State title in 2021.
Benjamin was offered a scholarship to New Mexico State by previous head coach Chris Jans, and that was honored by new coach Greg Heiar after Jans departed for Mississippi State.
"He brought a winning attitude," said Deuce of Heiar. "That's all I want to hear."
In his tenure at Las Cruces High, Benjamin went 102-6 as a starter. Benjamin was coached by father William at Las Cruces.
William starred at New Mexico State from 1988-1992 for then-coach Neil McCarthy, averaging double figures for two NCAA Tournament teams in 1991 and 1992. He was inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame this season.
"He was real excited for me," says Deuce of his father's reaction. "Not just because he went there but because I'm starting my journey at the Division I level."
"For him I know he was real proud of me, he was real excited."
As far as whether Deuce will wear William's old number 21, expect Deuce to blaze his own trail.
"I'm going to let him have his. I'm going to start my journey with my number."