300 Words: Derek Benson


Brock Burnett


The sound is a familiar one to senior Derek Benson.

Thud. Thud thud.

The echoed thuds of a basketball smacking against a hardwood floor is a noise that Benson has been hearing since he was no more than six years old. Benson has grown up on basketball and his involvement has shaped him into the person he is.

“Basketball has made me a more competitive person and improved my work ethic,” said Benson.

Benson’s basketball career has lead him to four years of basketball with the Vikings, and Benson had varsity playing time this year. However, Benson’s love for basketball has taken him to interesting places.

While going to see the hip-hop trio Flatbush Zombies, Benson got the chance of a lifetime presented to him. Benson played the Flatbush Zombies in a three versus three game of pickup basketball.

“They were shooting hoops next to the line to get into the concert, and then they just asked who wanted to play three on three. I was wearing an Iverson jersey, so they picked me and called me ‘White Iverson.’ It was definitely the peak of my life so far,” said Benson.

The stakes were high in the games Benson played against Flatbush Zombies.

“We played two games, and we won both. They were all pretty bad actually,” said Benson. “They actually bet $100 on the game, but they never followed through. They took us to the front of the line though, so we got to cut everyone.”

From the familiar hardwood courts of an indoor gym to the blacktop streets outside of a concert venue, Benson has always been able to find fun, purpose and enjoyment in the game of basketball.