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Community Advocacy Organization

Still Going Strong-Maurice Benson

Updated: May 15, 2021


Courtesy Photo-Maurice Benson


The Word was that that back in the day, Maurice Benson could ball. Word still is Benson, age 37, has a game! Benson, a four-year starter on the Everett High School varsity squad, refined his game in every aspect. He also played for Lansing Community College and Indiana Technical School. "I knew early on that size wasn't going to be my best asset, said Benson, "So, I developed other parts of my game like passing, dribbling, and shooting."


Courtesy Photo-Benson Crew


These days, Benson plays for the Buffalo Blaze. The Blaze is a semi-pro basketball team in the Pro Basketball Association (PBA). A friend, Chris Terrell (Commissioner of PBA), hit Benson up on Facebook with news of a tryout for the Blaze. Benson decided to see what was up. Benson plays the point guard position. He is five foot eleven inches tall and tips the scales at 210 pounds.


Benson remembers watching some high basketball film and wondering if he would be good enough to make it. "I knew I needed to improve my shot," said Benson. So he worked tirelessly on improving. Before long, Benson had developed a go-to shot.


Benson recalls playing basketball in the fifth grade. “I remember doing layups with my brother in gym class. After making a layup during drills, the substitute teacher, Dwayne Mann, bet us that we couldn’t make the layup a second time. “It’s a fluke,” he said. “No way you can do it again.”


"My competitive juices spilled out, and I wanted to show him," stated Benson. "Hmm," said Mann, “you guys want to play on the basketball team?”

“Yup.” Said Benson.


So, they formed a team in their elementary school. "We lost our first game, and most of the guys on the team were crying after the game because they had worked so hard and lost. Benson took it upon himself to become the leader of the team. “My brother was a Michael Jordan fan, but me, I was a John Stark fan,” said Benson. “My competitive juices surged to the top again. We went on to not lose another game and won the championship of that league.”


Benson recalls being a ball boy for the Sexton “Big Red” basketball team and watching their star player, Ron Banks, inspired him to want to see what he could do for himself. “It was there that I fell in love with basketball,” said Benson.”


Reflecting on his time on the court, Benson recalls playing in Viet Nam at age 35. “It was a unique opportunity to play overseas, and I enjoyed every moment,” said Benson. “By the way,” he smiled, “our team won the championship that year.”


Benson noted that while he has had some good games, his best game is yet to come. As to plans for his immediate future, Benson notes, he plans on helping the Blaze win the league championships. He also notes that he wants to set a shining example for his children. Benson has a large family. He has been married for four years and has ten children. "The following of your dream and being the best person you can be is an important example for me to set," said Benson. "As a dad, it's important to recognize that your children are watching."


When asked about things that make him happy, Benson noted that the sheer joy of playing basketball makes him happy. "Watching my children play basketball has the same effect," said Benson. "I'm a dad first." Benson also loves to mentor others in the game that he loves. "It's always a pleasure to talk and demonstrate the game I love," said Benson. "It's a guilty pleasure."

Courtesy Photo-Maurice and Wife LaToya


If money and time were no object, where would you like to go? "Going to Africa pops in my head," said Benson. "However, having traveled to Viet Nam, and seeing how other cultures live gives you a more global perspective on life. I would have to include both China and Europe as places to see, but only if I could see them as a family."


The silver lining in Benson’s trip to Viet Nam was that he initially went over as a coach to train children. However, before Benson's plane touching down in Saigon, one of the Americans on the professional team decided to leave, creating an opportunity for Benson to play. As a result, Benson played, but he helped his team to the next level and the championship.


As to a pearl of wisdom to pass on, “have faith, take care of what’s yours, be respectful, and follow your heart and dreams," said Benson. "Most importantly, never let anyone tell you; you can't do anything. The sky is the limit, and you can do anything you set your mind to accomplish!"

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