Frank Ben-Eze surprised a lot of people last week when he selected Harvard over Virginia Tech and Marquette. Count Ben-Eze among the initially shocked to hear that he pledged to Tommy Amaker's Ivy League program.
"It was a hard decision," Ben-Eze told Scout.com. "It wasn't what I thought for myself initially. It wasn't part of the plan that I had. It just came to me."
The 6-foot-10, 230 pound center out of Arlington (Va.) Bishop O'Connell might be the highest profile recruit ever for the Crimson. Ben-Eze knows that most guys in his position don't wind up in the Ivy League.
"Because of the way things go here in-state (of Virginia) most ball players see themselves going to the big name schools and try to get in the (NBA) someday. It's different for me."
Ben-Eze, a future engineering major, was taken back by the will, the drive to win at Harvard. "At a place like Harvard, it's different. I love competitive basketball but it's so different at Harvard. Even though we haven't won a championship there's so much to prove. I'll have to work 10 times harder than if I had gone to other schools."
Picking Harvard over Big East and ACC programs takes a measure of courage. Amaker and the staff empowered him to make the call. "They're all great recruiters. At the last minute I had three schools. I felt that each was a great school with great academics and good basketball. I always wanted to do something … my coach always said I could be a good player wherever I go."