He is only 22 years old but Australian Ben Simmons is already one of the biggest names in world basketball.
The Melbourne-born product was taken with the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and showed all his talent in 2018, winning the Rookie of the Year award after an excellent season with the Philadelphia 76ers.
And Simmons is now set for the Hollywood treatment after it was announced that his life and family upbringing had inspired a new television show.
The show is set for the big time, too, with respected website Deadline announcing NBC had given a “script commitment” to the show, set to be named Brotherly Love.
The comedy will be based on the life Simmons enjoyed at home in Australia, in Melbourne and Newcastle, but is likely to be set in Philadelphia.
And it may have hallmarks of The Brady Bunch about it, given that Simmons’ father Dave – who is American – met his wife Julie while playing in the NBL for the Melbourne Tigers.
Julie, a cheerleader for the Tigers, was divorced and already had four children.
Dave and Julie fell in love, married, and had two children, Ben and Olivia, both pictured below.
The relationships the star basketballer has with his siblings is set to be a key part of the series, particularly his close bond with half-brother, Sean Tribe.
Deadline said “Brotherly Love is inspired by the life of Ben Simmons” and “centres on a unique sibling relationship within a multiethnic family”.
“Together, they pursue their dreams while navigating life in the spotlight in Philadelphia, a passionate city where sports is in your blood, and your blood is always boiling,” the website reported.
One glance at Simmons’ Twitter account shows his excitement for the program.
The 76ers big man re-tweeted five different articles about the comedy series.
LeBron James is involved, too
Simmons will not be the only NBA star involved in Brotherly Love.
The series will be produced by SpringHill Entertainment, LeBron James’ production company.
SpringHill Entertainment already produces a range of popular television programs in the US.
James will be an executive producer of the series, continuing his close bond with the Australian, while Simmons and Tribe are reported to be consulting producers.
The pair are friends and often train together, with James – a four-time NBA MVP and one of the best basketballers the world has ever seen – speaking earlier this year about his role as a “mentor” to Simmons.
“I’m honoured that a young, gifted kid would even allow me to be a part of his life and be able to mentor him and be a big brother to him,” he said.
“I will continue to do that as long as he’d like me to.”
Simmons said only last month that James had “been like a big brother” in the early stages of his NBA career.
“Having LeBron there obviously helps me a lot,” he said.
“He’s got a blueprint of everything he’s been through and done and he’s done everything the right way, so I’m able to lean on him for almost anything.”
Simmons averaged an outstanding 15.8 points, 8.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per match in his rookie NBA season, numbers that are only expected to rise as he gets more comfortable at NBA level.
He helped Philadelphia to the Eastern Conference semi-finals, where it was defeated by Boston.