Benkert’s at-home basketball team

When it comes to being a part of a team, the ability to get along with others is crucial.

Specifically in the game of basketball, a player must be able to work well with his four other teammates when they’re out on the court.

Luckily for Belmont men’s basketball freshman Michael Benkert, he has had a lot of practice working with others at home.

“I have seven siblings including me, and I’m the oldest,” said Benkert.

On top of the fact his family has enough members to field a basketball team and still have two additional subs, they’re all adopted, too.

“I think it’s really cool that they adopted all of us, and it’s just really great living with all of them,” said Benkert. “It’s really fun.”

Surprisingly, there’s not a lot of conflict in the house, but it is always hectic, he said.

“It’s never quiet at my house. People always having to go places always having to do things and stuff. It’s crazy,” said Benkert.

Growing up, the hardest part was getting ready in the morning, said Benkert.

“My mom would have to count us off, ‘1-2-3-4-5 and so on,’ to make sure she didn’t forget anyone, and she was always hustling and stuff and my dad would always have to help too before he went to work,” he said.

When the Greenwood, Indiana native wasn’t helping his younger siblings get ready for school, he was playing basketball and looking for colleges. Once Belmont came across his search, he knew it was the place for him.

“I mean, it was pretty clear that I wanted to go here just cause the players and the coaches and the atmosphere down here was just amazing,” he said. “The winning culture definitely made me want to come here.”

Benkert’s decision to play basketball in college made him stand out among his siblings.

“I’m the only one who’s really into sports. Most of them are more into music and the arts, so I’m going to try to get them to come to Belmont as well,” he said.

The guard hopes to see his family at games this year and is certain he will have the biggest cheering section.

Benkert tips off his career as a Bruin Nov. 13 at Marquette.

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