Ben Southerland is a 6’7,” 190-pound three-star wingman set to arrive on campus this summer from Liberty’s 2022 recruiting class. Southerland hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. His high school team the Sycamore High School Aviators finished 21-3 on the season. I had the pleasure of catching up with Ben and picking his brain about trends, hoops, and brotherhood.

My wife and I are in with the Crocs craze, but it seems to be most popular among high schoolers. Am I correct on that, and if so, are you down with the trend?

You are absolutely correct. Walking around school you see so many crocs and I am definitely down with the trend. Our whole entire basketball team actually all got matching crocs and they were lime green. Everyone knew who we were haha!

Assuming you’re a 2k fan, who’s your go-to team? Similarly, who is/are one/two players that inspire your game?

Might be a surprise but I am not that big of a video gamer or even just 2k. I would rather play real basketball with my friends or brothers. However, on occasion, I will play against my brother or friend when we are really bored and those games get very competitive. My go to team would have to be the Warriors, for sure. Every time I watch basketball I am trying to take things away from all of the players. If I had to choose one person who inspires my game I would say Kevin Huerter from the Atlanta Hawks. We are very similar.

What restaurant can we most likely find you at?

I am a very picky eater and I like everything simple. I would say you could find me at a burger place or Chick Fil-A most of the time.

Is there any particular reason you rock number 23? Maybe a reference to one of the two GOATS?

I never really had one specific reason for number 23 however it definitely was inspired by the GOAT, Michael Jordan. My cousin also wears 23 and that was another big reason I chose that number.

What motivates you most on offense? What about defense?

For both offense and defense what motivates me to do either is just trying to not let my team down. More for offense it just feels really good to get a nice assist or bucket. For defense, if I let the guy I am guarding score then in my head I am letting my team down so I try to think about that and let it motivate me to play better defense. Another thing for both would be just trying to beat my match up because I always have a good defender on me and I am always guarding one of the best players so I simply want to show that I am the better player.

Up to this point, what has been your most satisfying achievement in your basketball career?

The most satisfying achievement so far would have to be winning districts for the first time in school history at my old school, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

What’s the best and most challenging aspect of competing alongside your brother?

There is nothing better than being able to play with your brother, it is just so much fun and it means more. Being able to watch him score or even give or get an assist from him is just awesome. The only challenge there to it is that we are both very competitive and we never want to lose. So in practice if we are going against each other it gets very competitive between one another.

What about Liberty University won you over?

On my visit at Liberty it was just the people that really made it special, from the coaches and staff to the players and to the entire community. Overall I just felt like Liberty is the place God wants me to be.

It’s the last five seconds of the game, and the ball is in your hands. Are you looking to pass for the perfect shot or shooting it no matter what?

The only way I would pass that ball is if I saw a wide open layup underneath the rim, other than that I got to take the shot. I feel like I deserve to take that shot because of the work I have put in and make or miss I think it would be the best decision.

Lastly, are you a…let’s say “talkative player” to the opponent? How do you respond if someone is chirping at you throughout the course of the game?

I am a very emotional player and it definitely depends on the situation if I am talkative. When I am talkative it is very mild, nothing crazy. If someone is chirping throughout the game I like to respond by just getting a bucket on them and maybe saying something like “come on now.”