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'Deuce’ named Gatorade Player of the Year for N.M.

PREP BASKETBALL

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The honors keep rolling in for William “Deuce” Benjamin.

Benjamin, a junior at Las Cruces High School, was named the 2020-21 Gatorade New Mexico Boys Basketball Player of the Year, the company announced on Friday, June 4.

Earlier this spring, Benjamin, who guided the Bulldawgs to a berth in the state 5A title game, was named the MaxPreps New Mexico Player of the Year.

The Gatorade award “recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field,” according to a news release announcing the award.

The 6-foot-1 junior guard led the Bulldawgs to a 14-1 record and averaged 27.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3 steals a game.

Benjamin led Las Cruces to the New Mexico State 5A championship in 2020 as a sophomore. This year, the quest for a repeat came up short with a loss in the state title game to Cleveland High of Rio Rancho. It was the Bulldawgs’ first loss since February 2020.

Benjamin has maintained a B average in school and has volunteered at the “I Do Love Math” summer camp.