By Tom Robinson, NEPAElite.com
Ben Chilson is headed to a top-10 program for college.
The NEPA Elite Coyle 17U player and Tunkhannock senior finalized his college decision Sunday, committing to study and play basketball at Bowdoin College, a Brunswick, Maine institution ranked among the top 10 Liberal Arts Colleges in the United States by such sources as Forbes and U.S. News and World Report.
“The academics are elite,” said Chilson, who ranks No. 1 in his class at Tunkhannock. “They’re one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country so obviously the academics attracted me and I really liked the coach. He has some NBA and G-League experience.”
Alex Lloyd, who was hired by Bowdoin in the spring of 2021, had held a variety of basketball and coaching positions on the professional and college levels prior to coming to Bowdoin to become just the third coach there in the last 58 years. At the time of his selection, he was serving as the lead assistant coach for the Memphis Hustle, the G-League affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Lloyd was among a “bunch of factors” Chilson selected Bowdoin. He said he was treated well by the team’s players during his visit there.
“When I visited a few weeks ago, I loved the campus and the small community feel,” Chilson said. “I also loved Brunswick.”
Chilson, who projects as a wing player in college, has been in contact with Bowdoin for months.
“They found me through the AAU circuit in the spring, pretty early on,” Chilson said. “They also watched me play at some of the Ivy League camps, so they got to watch a lot of me playing throughout the summer.”
Bowdoin offered Chilson a spot in the program in late July.
Chilson used his long-range shooting ability to fire in 50 points and a dozen 3-pointers during a game as a sophomore at Tunkhannock. He was one of the leaders of a highly accurate 3-point shooting combination that led NEPA Elite to a winning 2022 season.
At Tunkhannock, Chilson was a first-team Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 all-star selection by NEPABasketball.com as a junior after being a second-teamer as a sophomore.
Bowdoin does not require students to declare a major until their sophomore years. Chilson, the son of two physicians, said he expects to eventually choose something on a pre-med path.
The Polar Bears are coming off a 12-14 season, which included a 2-8 record in the New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference.