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Posted On: 04/30/18 9:00 PM
Today Richard Pitino extended a scholarship to East Ridge High School sophomore Ben Carlson. Carlson, a 6-foot-9 sophomore who also plays with D1 Minnesota during AAU season, is coming off of a 19 point per game season for a top ten team.
In Atlanta over the weekend Minnesota Head Coach Richard Pitino watched Carlson play three times with D1 Minnesota while assistant Ed Conroy was at nearly all of the games. The Gophers have been a regular at Carlson’s games and this afternoon Carlson earned a scholarship offer from his hometown program.
“I’m excited about the Minnesota offer, they have a lot of good things coming for them so it’s an exciting time for their program,” Ben said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know their staff better as well.”
Carlson has been to a few Gopher games and he visited Minnesota last June with his family. Carlson has paid attention to the happenings on the Twin Cities campus.
“They have some good players coming in next year and returning so the they should have a good year,” Ben said. “Their new facilities are really nice too.”
Ben also has offers from Stanford and from Nebraska. He’s rated as a top 100 player in the nation so at this point everything has gone to plan.
“It’s been my dream my entire life to play college basketball and I’ve worked really hard and it’s starting to pay off,” Carlson said. It’s exciting that I have these opportunities now.”
Who else is showing Carlson regular interest in addition to the recently offered Gophers?
“So far Nebraska and Stanford have offered me and I talk with Iowa State and Creighton almost every week and Wisconsin is in contact with my coaches regularly,” Ben stated. “My coaches have heard from other Big Ten and Big East schools as well.”
D1 Minnesota is the top team in Minnesota at the 16 and under level and they are a top 25 rated team nationally by Prep Hoops. The team not only has talent but has a strong connection as well.
“We have a similar team as last year so I think our chemistry helps us a lot. We’ve got a good group of guys and it’s fun to play because we share the ball really well. We’ve played some tough competition already but we have played really well so far too.”