LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – Former Las Cruces High School and New Mexico State basketball player Deuce Benjamin will play at New Mexico Junior College in 2023-24, according to the school’s website.
The 2021 New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year, Benjamin helped Las Cruces High to the 2020 Class 5A state championship, then was a freshman at NMSU in 2022-23.
However, Benjamin’s only season at NMSU was marred by tragedy and controversy. According to a lawsuit filed by Benjamin, his father, William and former NMSU center Shakiru Odunewu, Deuce and Odunewu were subjected to months of alleged hazing, sexual assault and harassment by three of their former teammates. The pair alleged that they told the coaching staff, including former head coach Greg Heiar, but that the coaches did nothing.
The Benjamins and Odunewu settled their lawsuit with NMSU earlier this summer for a total of $8 million.
The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office is still investigating the case for potential criminal charges.