PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A big fish in a small pond, Columbia Christian’s Ben Gregg is a growing legend with the Knights.
After posting mammoth numbers at last year’s state tournament and just last month in the Les Schwab Invitational, the son of a coach is on the march to basketball nirvana, with his humble head in the clouds.
Long, lean and athletic, Gregg is a basketball coach’s “create-a-player” dream.
“I have coached 43 years, and to me, he is a generational player, in that not only is he an outstanding and skilled plater, but he has the size, the athleticism, the character, he’s a top student, he puts his teammates first,” Columbia Christian Head Coach Bart Valentine said. “It’s just every piece of his game and of his person are top notch.”
High praise from Valentine for his sophomore phenom, Ben Gregg from the defending 2A Oregon State Champions.
“We are definitely trying to do it again this year and in the coming years too, try to win all four years, that’s the goal,” Gregg said.
The class of 2021 big man is already on the hook with a scholarship offer from the Texas Longhorns.
“If you would have told me last year that all of this would be happening, I would have told you that you were crazy, I did not expect any of this, but it has been a fun experience for me,” Gregg said.
The six-foot-eight kid from Clackamas moved to Oregon from Spokane a decade ago when his father, Matt Gregg, took over as head coach of the women’s program at Warner Pacific, a place Valentine resides in the hall of fame.
“43 years of coaching and this is a blessing for the end of my career,” Valentine said.
Columbia Christian is a school of 99 students, yet universities like Oregon, Washington State University, University of Southern California, and his dream school, Gonzaga, are on the watch for Big Ben in 2021.
“We have a very Christian household, so this is a good fit for me, and the education and the religion side of it was definitely a plus,” Gregg said.
“If he’s at a school of a couple thousand students, it’s a little harder for a humble kid to step into a leadership role, but here there are niches that he can get involved in,” Valentine said. “I’ve had my players recruited, but never at this level, I will say.”
Doctors say growth plates show six-foot-ten is near, and coach Valentine gets to mold Gregg’s game for the next level.
“Right now, my body control is not the best,” Gregg said. “Getting a lot of offense charge calls on me. My on-ball defense needs to improve a little bit.”
Post up on the blocks or step out beyond the arch–push the kid out of his shell to maybe be a little more selfish.
“There are times when I just have to say, ‘Ben, look, I know you are getting your teammates involved, and that’s great, but we need you to be a little more assertive,’” Valentine said. ‘His natural bent is to be a servant.”
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