Fully committed


Photo used with permission of Daniel Malen.

Bass passes the ball from the top of the key during the championship game at the Israel Becker Tournament in Toronto this past season.

Matthew Steindecker and Aaron Waldman, Reporter and Sports editor

Standing outside Alexander Muss High School in Israel, Benjamin Bass (23’) is anxious but excited as he picks up the phone. This is no ordinary phone call, as Bass is ready to tell assistant coach of Washington College’s basketball team, Jake Brudish, that he is committing to play Division III basketball there next year.

After talking with coaches for months, the six foot seven inches center publicly announced his commitment to play for Washington College on March 27.

“I was very relieved,” Bass said. “I am excited for both the college experience and hopefully earning a starting spot.”

Bass’s basketball journey has been long and tough from the moment he stepped onto the court in eighth grade at CESJDS to getting recruited to play in college. During freshman year, Bass played on the junior varsity team, but before his sophomore year, he decided to transfer from JDS to Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia to improve his basketball skills.

Unlike JDS, Wakefield played basketball games against other schools in the winter of 2020-2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While at Wakefield, Bass injured his meniscus during a drill at practice which kept him out for most of the season.

“[Wakefield] helped me physically and it improved my basketball IQ…,” Bass said. “I was around better players, there was a lot more attention to detail and the level of play was higher.”

He would eventually return to JDS for his junior and senior years to give the basketball program another shot. During his junior season, Bass helped lead JDS to the PVAC championship game, despite struggling with injuries throughout the season.

Bass was one of two boys varsity basketball captains this past season. He led the team to the semi-finals, where they lost to Sandy Spring Friends School. Bass made the PVAC second team and won team MVP during the Israel Becker Tournament at TanenbaumCHAT in Toronto.

“The work that he has put in has really shown on the court,” boys varsity basketball head coach Ryan Eskow said. “He’s got a really nice touch around the basket. I think the fact that he’s added a jump shot, where he can consistently make corner threes and 15 footers, I think that makes him very valuable as a [center].”

In addition to going to basketball tournaments and showcases in order to get scouted, Bass tried to practice or work out every day. Off the court, he was reaching out to coaches on his own through the organization Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) which put him in touch with Washington College.

“[NCSA] gave me the ability to reach out to coaches, and the fun thing about it is once you have one offer, they just start piling in,” Bass said. “… For Washington College, I had a great relationship with [Brudish]. After getting in touch with him, it was smooth sailing.”

Despite facing some barriers, particularly when he tore his meniscus, Bass credits his mother, teammates and coaches for supporting him through all of it.

“My teammates push me every day, my mom pushes me every day and then my coaches just know how to tap into what I’m good at,” Bass said.

Bass and his family are excited to see him learn from his coaches and teammates at Washington College.

“I can’t wait to see him play at the next level,” Bass’s uncle, who attends many of his games, Jonathan Golner said. “I think that he has a lot of skill. The next level of competition will be really good for him and a really good test to see how good those skills are.”