Phil Kornblut

Gamecocks hometown basketball target to announce college choice Friday

The two-horse race for Ridge View High School basketball star Ja’Von Benson is set to end Friday morning.

According to Blazers coach Yerrick Stoneman, Benson will announce his college choice on Twitter Friday morning. The 6-foot-8 Benson took official visits to South Carolina and the College of Charleston and has been working on his decision between those two for several weeks. He also had offers from Ohio State, Indiana State, Winthrop, S.C. State, Presbyterian, Upstate, UNC-Wilmington, East Tennessee State and others.

“They’ve been watching me over the years and they’ve said that they believe I would be a great fit,” Benson said of the Gamecocks earlier in the process. “I see a great fit. I love the program.”

Benson also has been impressed with the Cougars and the effort coach Earl Grant and his staff put into recruiting him. His coach said last week that much of Benson’s decision would come down to where he thinks he’ll have the best opportunity to play.

“He can go to College of Charleston and play quicker, not necessarily right away because they’ve got good players too, but you know it’s going to be tough for him to get that playing time at South Carolina,” Stoneman said. “But in the long run, that might make him a better player because he’s got to compete every day.”

Benson sat out his sophomore season at Ridge View after after transferring from Westwood. Last season he helped the Blazers win their second straight state championship averaging 10 points and 9 rebounds per game. He scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the state championship game victory over Wilson.