LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – Deuce Benjamin, a former standout player at Las Cruces High School, entered the NCAA Transfer Portal on Tuesday afternoon.
He took to Twitter to announce his decision and provided some context into why he made the decision on Tuesday to leave NMSU, a school he dreamed of playing for his entire life.
“Due to the actions of others (which I will not go into here), that dream turned into a nightmare,” Benjamin wrote. “Adding insult to injury, Coach (Jason) Hooten recently informed me that it would be in my best interest to continue my education and basketball career elsewhere. I would like to thank the community of Las Cruces for their love and support.”
Benjamin spent the 2022-23 season redshirting for his hometown team, New Mexico State. He scored five points in an exhibition game against Western New Mexico on Nov. 2, 2022.
He was a superstar for Las Cruces High, leading the Bulldawgs to three state championship games, winning it all in 2020. Benjamin was also the 2021 New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year.
His father, William Benjamin Sr., is in the NMSU Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Aggies basketball program in the early 1990s. The elder Benjamin then coached his son for four seasons at Las Cruces High.
Deuce was one of three NMSU players to enter the Portal on Tuesday, joining Isaac Shingange and Ethan Anderson. It’s part of a mass exodus from the NMSU program following a tumultuous 2022-23 season under former head coach Greg Heiar.
As of Tuesday, Anthony Roy is the only player from the 2022-23 Aggies roster that has not either entered the Portal, exhausted their collegiate eligibility or turned pro. That list includes Mike Peake, who entered the Portal in March.
Sources have told KTSM that new head coach Jason Hooten wants an entirely new slate for his first NMSU squad in 2023-24 and will be recruiting a completely new roster.