EMMITSBURG, Md. (WDVM) – Mount men’s basketball has landed sophomore transfer guard from UAB, Jalen Benjamin.
Benjamin was a C-USA All-Freshman selection in 2020, and despite playing in all 29 games this season for the Blazers, he decided to put his name in the transfer portal.
“I wanted a better situation for myself,” said Benjamin. “My freshman to sophomore year I had a good jump, but I just felt like I needed a better relationship with coaches and wanted to put myself in a better situation to get to another level.”
Mount head coach, Dan Engelstad, reached out to Benjamin as soon as his name hit the portal.
“He’s been calling me every day and we’ve built a relationship and that’s mainly what I was looking for.”
The two did not have a relationship prior to Benjamin hitting the portal, but Engelstad has been impressed with the young guard from Raleigh, North Carolina, since his freshman year.
“My freshman year we ended up playing Mount St. Mary’s at UAB,” recalled Benjamin. “It was one shot I hit, that Coach Dan says he remembers. It was a three actually that put us up in the game and [Dan] was like ‘Man, you hit the big shot on us, I know you’re a great player, bringing you in would be big time for us.'”
Benjamin might just be the perfect fit with Engelstad anticipating the loss of guard, Damian Chong Qui, who put his name in the transfer portal last week.
“[Engelstad] really made it known that I was the person they were really looking for and I could help them make a next step in their program and help me make a next step in my life.”