April 11, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida State men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton announced that Benson Callier, a 6-5 guard, has signed a National Letter of Intent play for the Seminoles during the upcoming 2002-03 season. Callier joins Al Thornton (Perry, Ga.), who signed with Hamilton and the Seminoles Wednesday and guard Todd Galloway (Baltimore, Md.) who signed with Florida State during the early signing period in November.
“Benson has an amazing combination of athleticism, basketball skill and savvy,” said Hamilton. “Even though he has only played organized basketball for one year, he has a great feel and tremendous instinct for the game. Once we begin practicing with him we expect to see an acceleration in his maturation process,” he said.
Callier, a St. Petersburg, Fla., native averaged 18.0 points, 10. 0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots in leading George Junior Republic (GJR) High School in Grove City, Pa., to the state tournament He was named to the Big School All-State First Team and named the Mercer County Conference MVP. He was also named the Most Valuable Player of the Pennsylvania/Ohio All-Star game as he scored a game-record 31 points in leading his team to victory.
During his senior season, Callier led GJR to a victory over Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary who was nationally ranked and ranked No. 1 in the Cleveland Plain Dealer State Division 2 Top 10. He scored 14 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and recorded four blocked shots as GJR won the game 58-57 in overtime.
“I am really excited for Benson because not only is he is very good player but he is a special individual,” said GJR had coach Bob McConnell. “He’s a great person who has a fabulous chance to play basketball in the best conference in the country and to graduate from a fantastic academic institution. He also gets to play in his home state for Leonard Hamilton, who is a fabulous coach. The coaching staff and the administration of George Jr. Republic are very happy for Benson Callier.”