Ben Simmons is the latest Australian to excel in the NBA. From Australia to Philadelphia, the Sixers star has remained close with his family. Ben explained to Bleacher Report why representing for his country is important.
“I came to the States and no one knew who I was, then they kind of do, then I get injured and no one talks about you for a while,” Ben told Bleacher Report. “So it’s kind of like now I’ve got to build myself back up.”
Ben’s parents, Dave and Julie Simmons, have been a big part of Ben’s success. His father was born in the United States, but moved to Australia to follow his pro basketball aspirations. Dave met his wife, Julie, while he was a pro basketball player in Australia. Ben was born in Melbourne, Australia. He has four half siblings and a sister: Melissa, Emily, Liam, Sean and Olivia (Liv). Ben’s sister Emily is married to former NFL running back Michael Bush.
Ben admits to missing Australia, but notes his family’s presence helps him on the court.
“I don’t get many chances to go back. I usually go back once a year, and do my camp-out there, but I definitely miss it,” Ben told ABC Australia. “A lot of family, a lot of friends back home, and just the culture…[Family is] huge for me, they keep me humble. It’s a reality once I get back home with my brother and sister and my mum and dad, so they’re a huge help. I think they really keep me composed and relaxed once I’m away from the lights and the cameras.”
Learn more about Ben’s parents, siblings and family.
1. Ben’s Sister, Olivia, Was Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder
Ben’s sister Olivia, who goes by the nickname Liv, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and the Showtime documentary One & Done gives viewers a glimpse of Liv’s experience. Liv opened up to The Undefeated about wresting with the illness.
“I was diagnosed with bipolar and there’s this crazy stigma around it and that’s what’s scary,” Liv told The Undefeated. “You hear people every day use the word. People don’t get that. It’s going through mania and it’s going through depression. There’s different types and there’s different severities. And there’s different medications and there’s different ways to handle it. You can live a perfectly normal life. And I live a normal life. I’m a normal person. I just have restrictions, but it’s kind of like someone with diabetes.”
The documentary shows Liv speaking with Ben about the disorder. The two have had their disagreements, and Def Pen reported in December 2016 that Ben had his sister blocked on Twitter.
“Struggle city right now. I wish I was a cash cow for my family and treated everyone like sh– maybe I would get the support I need,” Liv tweeted in 2016 (via Def Pen).
Based on Liv’s recent Twitter posts, it seems like the two have …read more