Jerrelle Benimon didn't become the first Fauquier County product selected in the NBA Draft on Thursday, but he will play in the NBA Summer League with the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets with the hope of earning a roster spot as an undrafted free agent.
He will play for the Heat in Orlando, July 5-11, and for the Nuggets in Las Vegas, July 11-21.
A 2009 Fauquier High graduate, Benimon emerged
late as an NBA prospect after transferring from Georgetown
University to Towson University, where he starred as a versatile, 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward for two seasons. In March, as a Towson senior, Benimon was named Colonial Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
He steadily improved his stock during his senior year, which culminated with being named MVP of the 2014 Reese’s College All-Star Game at the Final Four. Over the past month, he traveled around the country to work out for the Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz, among others.
A Mid-Major first team all-American as a senior, Benimon ranked second in the nation in rebounds per game (11.2), ranked third in double-doubles (21) and made the CAA all-defensive team. As a junior
, he ranked second in double-doubles and third in rebounding.
This past season, Benimon led Towson to a 25-11 record, giving the Tigers their most Division I wins in program history. He led all CAA players with 11.2 rebounds per game and ranked third in assists (3.6), fourth in field goal percentage (.529), fifth in points (18.7), and fifth in blocks (1.2). His 404 rebounds as a senior set a Towson single-season record and the total ranks in CAA history behind on David Robinson.
Benimon also recorded Towson’s first triple-double in history and finished 16th on the Tigers’ all-time scoring list despite playing only two seasons. His college career ended March 27 with a loss in the third round of the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament after the Tigers fell short of qualifying for the NCAA tournament with a loss in the semifinals of the CAA tournament.
Lightly recruited out of high school, Benimon began his college career at Georgetown
, but averaged only 11.1 minutes and 1.4 points per game off bench over two seasons. He transferred to Towson following the 2010-11 season and then sat out a season due to NCAA rules.
High, Benimon was a two-time Cedar Run District Player of the Year and averaged 21 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists, four blocks and 1.6 steals per game as a senior.