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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga 2021 commit Ben Gregg moves up timetable, joins Zags’ roster

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 17, 2020

Gonzaga's Ben Gregg poses in a GU jersey. Gregg graduated high school early and has been added to the Zags active roster.  (Courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics)
Gonzaga's Ben Gregg poses in a GU jersey. Gregg graduated high school early and has been added to the Zags active roster. (Courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics)

It’s been a whirlwind four months for Ben Gregg, who committed to Gonzaga in September, signed in November and now will suit up for the Zags later this month.

Gregg completed high school graduation requirements early and will join the Zags for the rest of the season, the school announced. The Clackamas (Oregon) High grad will wear No. 33 and will be eligible to play once he passes university health protocols.

Gregg has enrolled in GU classes for next semester and he’s expected to arrive on campus this weekend.

“Obviously committing was very special and since then it just kept getting more surreal,” Gregg said in a text message. “Signing and making it official was obviously very special for my family and I, and then getting a phone call a couple days later and having them tell me they want me to come this year was just the cherry on top.

“These past few months have been nothing but a blessing for my family and I!”

It’s believed to be the first time in program history that a prep commitment has moved up their timetable to join the Zags between fall and spring semesters. It’s happened several times in recent weeks at other schools, including Reese Waters at USC, Keon Edwards at DePaul and James Graham III at Maryland.

In Gregg’s situation, his senior year at Clackamas wasn’t a given because Oregon has delayed the start of the high school basketball season until May. Another factor was the NCAA’s decision to give Division I winter sports athletes an additional year of eligibility, so Gregg isn’t losing a season of eligibility.

“Not having a high school season more than likely, I didn’t want to sit around and wait until (next) fall,” Gregg said. “It will be a huge advantage getting this free year both athletically and academically.”

One of the trademarks of Gonzaga’s program has been versatile bigs who can operate inside or outside. The 6-foot-10, 225-pound Gregg seems to have those attributes with his ball-handling, passing and ability to hit 3-pointers.

“As far as helping us, we’ll just have to wait and see,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “He’s going to be a great addition to our program, I’ll tell you that. He’s a highly, highly skilled player, he’s a coach’s kid, he really understands the game. And with his size and skill, that’s a very valued asset in our system.

“It’ll be fun to get him up here and I’m happy for him. He’s a baller and he likes to play and he hasn’t been able to play, but at the same time I feel horrible that he hasn’t been able to have a senior year and get a state championship and things like that.”

Gregg was always on Gonzaga’s recruiting radar, but he wasn’t offered a scholarship until August. He was born in Spokane and his father Matt coached in Post Falls and at Freeman High. The family relocated to Portland in 2008 when Matt became head women’s basketball coach at NAIA Warner Pacific.

Gregg was rated No. 29 in the 2021 class by ESPN when he picked Gonzaga over Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, Cal and Virginia. He was named Oregon’s Gatorade Player of the year after averaging 21.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 blocks as a junior. Clackamas was considered a state title contender before the tournament was canceled last March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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