What is Ben Simmons’ race and background — is he of mixed race?

You’ll be certainly hearing Ben Simmons’ name early in the upcoming NBA Draft — many mock drafts are predicting the 6-10 Australian lefty will be the #1 selection in the 2016. As of this post, the top pick will be between him and Duke’s Brandon Ingram and that won’t likely change between now and Thursday.

Update Nov 2017: After sitting out the entire 2016-17 season, Simmons finally got on the court the 2017-18 season and after a few dozen games playing with a stacked rookie class, he’s the front runner for this season’s Rookie of the Year. Every game is a potential triple double for the Sixers point-forward, and looks like we’ll be talking about Simmons for years to come.

Simmons potential and talent aren’t in question, but when his name is called, many will wonder — what is Ben Simmons’ background? As in, what is his race and ethnicity? We’ll try our best to gather as much information so we can make as informed answer to the question of whether Ben Simmons is of mixed race.

ben-simmons and his mom Julie Blake

Who are Ben Simmons’ Dad and Mom?

Not unlike Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Ben Simmons dad was also a star basketball player. Though Dave Simmons never played in the NBA, the Bronx-raised (a borough in New York City) Simmons would end up playing in several professional leagues in South and Central America before making his way Down Under.

Simmons was a star in the NBL, Australia’s National Basketball League and is one of two American imports that is credited with bringing the Melbourne Tigers to prominence in the early 1990s:

Dave Simmons was a legend… who, together with fellow American import Dave Colbert – called themselves The Double Ds – transformed a losing culture at the Melbourne Tigers to the team’s first championship in 1993. “I was very physical. Finesse wasn’t my thing,” Dave admits.

Ben Simmons recently gave big props to his father for the opportunity to succeed:

“This journey to the NBA draft brings us full circle. Because of your hard work I have opportunities that you didn’t have. And for that I am grateful beyond words.”

While in Melbourne, Simmons’ father Dave would meet Julie Blake at a gym in 1991. When Dave Simmons met Julie Blake, she was one of the Lady Tigers dancers, an aerobics instructor, divorced and already had four children from a previous marriage. “I don’t know what you were thinking,” Julie said to him in a Campus Rush interview “You must not have been on your A game.” Three years later they were married and added two children, Ben and Olivia, to their family of six.

Ben Simmons and his parents father and mother

Is Ben Simmons Mixed Race?

Like Curry and Thompson, there are plenty of basketball fans that are curious about Ben Simmons’ background and racial identity.

To answer that question, let’s recap what we know. Dave Simmons is an African-American born in New York City whom moved to Australia to play professional basketball. There, he met Julie Blake, an Australian that looks to be Caucasian. Taking the available information into consideration, it looks like Ben Simmons is of biracial with a mix of African-American and Australian.

As we mentioned in previous posts about racial identity. Our attempts to identify a player’s racial background and identity is solely a move to provide information to better understand the many layers of race. Though the information in the above post may be used to add fuel to negative stereotyping and generalizations, we believe that our posts for the most part, further conversations and understanding of race. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Ben Simmons mixed race biracial


  • AD Powell

    Anyone who “looks Caucasian” IS Caucasian. What’s with this white purity nonsense of “looks to be Caucasian”? It’s DNA that determines “mixed-race” regardless of what the parents CALL themselves.

  • Ben’s mother’s race is European Caucasian not Australian. Patty Mills from the Spurs is of Australian Race.

  • There is a word in Ben’s place of birth. You’re a cunt (we sometime’s call our friends). The bloke is pretty hot shit! Will he succumb to the dumb ass ‘Mercian ideal on race? is that your issue? He’s Australian regardless of colour (yes real English) or creed..
    Let the kid play ball and enjoy it.

  • This is a very suspicious interpretation of his racial background. His mother is clearly a Caucasian, yet the author attempts to draw attention away from that fact by incorrectly saying her genetic background is Australian just because she lives in Australia.

    You’ve got to keep context in mind, seeing as Caucasians are a minority in the NBA and many racists want Caucasians to look bad at basketball compared to the majority. It would be comparable to Caucasians (the majority) in America denying that President Obama has African-American background just because he lives in America. It’s just as wrong and just as suspicious in the exact same minority/majority relationship. Context! Don’t ignore it.

  • Lauryn Oviedo

    Australian isn’t an ethnicity lol, stop promoting that atereotype and promoting the stereotype that australians are white. lol. Ben simmons is half black and white. Australian is a nationality, the only way “australian” could be an ethnicity is if you were native australian

  • Ann Garrison

    Race is often a matter of identification. I once met a guy who looked Caucasian but had a Black American accent and spoke Black American dialect, so I asked about his ethnicity and he said his father was Black. That’s how he chose to identify.

    I also met someone who was Black and Chinese, very distinctly Black and Chinese, but he chose to identify Black.

    I also know a Black woman with a “white side of the family.” Meaning that her mother’s sister had married Caucasian, then her kids had married Caucasian and that side of the family looked Caucasian.

Leave a Reply