Cincinnati Aiken Cager Emerging As Top Player In The Class of 2011


Chane Behanan is rated as the top player in Ohio’s Class of 2011

Cincinnati Aiken freshman Chane Behanan, currently playing for the Ohio Basketball Club Showstoppers 15-and-under AAU team, has emerged as the state’s No. 1 prospect for the Class of 2011, according to Ohio High magazine.

Steve Helwagen caught up with Behanan for more.

The state of Ohio has produced a number of top basketball prospects over the last decade and there is a new name to add to the list.

Cincinnati Aiken freshman Chane Behanan, currently playing for the Ohio Basketball Club Showstoppers 15-and-under AAU team, has emerged as the state’s No. 1 prospect for the Class of 2011, according to Ohio High magazine.

The 6-6, 220-pound Behanan looks like a man against boys as he competes against others in his age group. We caught up with Behanan following a tournament win at last weekend’s King James Shooting Stars Classic in Akron. The OBC team did not go on and win that event, but had just won a similar tournament the week before at Pittsburgh.

“This is my first year with this team and we are having a lot of fun,” Behanan said. “I’m doing a lot of things to help my team like rebound, play defense and put the ball in the hole. I like coming out to these tournaments and playing. There is a lot of competition here.

“We play five or six games in a weekend. I love it.”

The OBC team also features Ohio’s No. 2- and No. 3-ranked 2011 players in Gahanna Lincoln 5-8 point guard Stevie Taylor and Sugarcreek Garaway 6-8 power forward Paul Honigford.

“Last year, I played with All-Ohio,” Behanan said. “I was with the seventh grade team, actually. After the school year, I moved ahead to the ninth grade. They heard about me being moved to the ninth grade and that’s how I got on this team.”

Behanan had been held back in kindergarten, so by skipping the eighth grade he simply got back on track with his original graduating class of 2011.

When asked what makes him a special player, Behanan said, “I think coaches like how I play and how I work.”

Behanan was asked if he put any stock in being named as Ohio’s top player in the 2011 class.

“No, because I know somebody out there could be better than me,” he said. “That kind of stuff just makes me work harder to try and get to that level. If anybody says that, that’s their thing.”

Behanan made quite a mark in his first varsity season at Aiken. He helped lead Aiken to a 15-6 season as he averaged 20.2 points and 12 rebounds per game. He was named third-team All-Southwest District in Division I.

One of the highlights of his year was a 34-point, 14-rebound effort in a 90-89 double overtime loss to defending Division II state champion Dayton Dunbar. He also had 30 points and nine rebounds in a 60-59 win over Cincinnati Woodward, going 12 of 15 from the floor in that win.

“By moving up a grade, I got to play varsity basketball,” Behanan said. “It was fun. We had a pretty good team. We lost in the second round of the (Division I) tournament to Middletown.”

Ohio State is well aware of Behanan. OSU assistant John Groce reportedly attended the Aiken-Dunbar game in January. OSU assistant Alan Major watched Behanan and his OBC team in action during a game at Medina Highland High School as part of the King James this past weekend. In that game, Behanan had 24 points, including a nasty breakaway jam to help put the game away.

Besides OSU, other schools expected to give Behanan the full-court press include Xavier, Cincinnati, Indiana and West Virginia.

But Behanan is taking everything in stride right now.

“There are a lot of schools looking at me,” Behanan said. “I am only a freshman, so I’m just taking my time with it and looking at everybody. I will talk about schools when I get to be a junior or a senior.”

Behanan is accompanied by mentor Leon Ellison on the basketball circuit.

“I have been working him out since he was 8 years old,” Ellison said. “Since he was 8 years old, we have probably worked out three or four times a week. We started weight training when he was 12 years old. He has always naturally been big. He has put in a whole lot of work and it is paying off.”

Ellison talked about Behanan’s jump from the seventh to the ninth grade.

“They had held him back previously, but by last year he was ready academically to come back to his original class,” Ellison said. “And in terms of basketball, it just wasn’t fair to watch him play against guys in the seventh grade. So it made sense to move him back to his original grade.”

Ellison also discussed having Behanan play on such a star-studded AAU team.

“On this team, no one will usually score 20 or 30 points a game,” he said. “You’ll have a lot of guys with 10 or 12 points a game. We didn’t want him to be on a team where he was the focal point. We wanted him to be on a team where he played in a system. When you get to that next level, you have to be on a team that plays in a system.”


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