Brownstown’s Jack Benter signs to Purdue for basketball

BROWNSTOWN Jack Benter said he has had hopes and dreams of playing major college basketball since he entered his freshman year at Brownstown Central High School.

That goal became a reality on Wednesday when he signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for the Purdue Boilermakers.

“I feel that is the best fit for me,” he said at his signing. “Their coaching staff is really good, and their style of play fits me pretty well. They showed a little bit of interest my freshman year, but my sophomore and junior year, they started showing a lot more interest. There were a lot of other Division I schools that were contacting me, mostly mid-majors but a couple of high majors.”

Benter said he is unsure if he will get to play his freshman year or if he will be redshirted.

“They said they won’t talk about that until we get up there and they see everything that is going on during the summertime,” he said.

Speaking of the summer, Benter signed with the Boilermakers in July 2022.

“I just want to earn a playing spot, and playing there is special. The atmosphere there is awesome,” he said.

Dave Benter, Jack’s father and the head coach at Brownstown Central, said it was a big day for him and his wife, Kristy, and the family.

“He’s spent a lot of time and effort for the last 15 years preparing for this,” Dave said. “I couldn’t be more proud or happy for him. I think Purdue is a great fit. I think he was the first kid in his class in the state to commit. As soon as Purdue offered, he was ready to sign.

“There are several things: Their style of play, their coaching staff, their culture, their fan support and community support, their success they’re at the top of the Big Ten every year and they make the (NCAA) tournament,” Dave said. “I asked him if he could pick one school, where would it be, and he said Purdue, so he knew right away exactly where he wanted to go. He wanted to get it over with early.”

Jack said basketball means a lot to him.

“I started playing at a little age, and that’s all I’ve done since a little age, so I feel it is special to be able to go and play beyond high school,” he said. “Most kids don’t get that opportunity. It says a lot about my personality because mostly what I do is play basketball. I try to get in a gym at least once a day.”

He holds the game, season and career scoring records at Brownstown, and his career total of 1,859 points is No. 1 all-time in Jackson County. He plays with Grand Park Premier from Indianapolis during the summer.

“We had a really good summer,” he said. “June went really well, and July went really well.”

The Braves were 24-5 last winter, and Jack is looking forward to another outstanding season this winter.

“I’m just looking to having a good season and hopefully get ready for the end of the season and do the best we can,” he said.

Jack stands 6-foot-6 and enjoys shooting 3-point shots.

“I’ll take whatever the defense gives me,” he said, adding he is confident he can make any shot in the Braves’ half-court offense.

He also was asked what it’s like to play for his father.

“It has been a really good experience,” he said. “Most people think that would be hard, but it hasn’t been hard at all. It’s been easy, just getting along inside the gym and outside the gym. What happens inside the gym, when you go home, you’ve just got to forget about it and just have him as a father at home.”

Dave, who played for Brownstown and then Hanover College and was a two-time Indiana Collegiate Conference most valuable player, said he feels like his son has to develop his body to be able to play in the Big Ten.

“I think his body is his big thing,” Dave said. “He spent a lot of time the last couple years working on that. It’s just different (playing in college). The athleticism and strength, he’s going to be playing against grown men. He’s going to be playing against guys that are five or six years older than him. He’s been very skilled, very cerebral from a very early age. He’s grown, he’s got good positional size, so he’s just got to continue to work on his body.

Dave said college coaches will say if you can come in and guard your position and handle pressure, then skill and everything else will take care of itself

“He has become a good shooter off the dribble. That is an important trait,” Dave said of his son. “I would say his fundamentals are outstanding. He shoots well, he handles the ball well and he passes it well. He handles the ball very well going left or right. He has a very good understanding of how to play. He checks all of those boxes.”

Now, he said it’s about physically being able to play against guys at that level.

“That’s a tough adjustment for any freshman going in and it’s a challenge, and you’ve got to be not just physically tough but mentally tough to handle that,” Dave said.