2002 - True freshman saw action at both second base and designated hitter, starting 14 games at second and three at DH . . . Had three multiple-hit games, two two-hit games and one three-hit game . . . Longest hitting streak was five games . . . Hit a team-leading .500 over four starts the opening weekend of Big Ten play at Indiana . . . Hit a double to drive in a run in the series finale against Indiana . . . Won a game for Illinois with a ninth inning double against Wright State on the Spring Trip . . . Collected his first collegiate hit against Northeastern on the Spring Trip . . . Scored twice and finished the day 2-for-4 in that game . . . Went 3-for-6 with one run scored and four runs driven in against Dartmouth on the Spring Trip . . . A two-time CICL Player of the Week over the summer while competing for the Springfield Rifles . . . Also a CICL All-Star and the League’s June Player of the Month after hitting .397 with four home runs and 13 RBI over the month . . . Named the No. 1 prospect out of the CICL by Baseball America.
High School - Earned eight varsity letters at Pleasant Plains: four each in baseball and basketball . . . Earned all-state honors in baseball his sophomore, junior and senior seasons . . . Also first-team all-state in basketball as a junior and senior after receiving honorable mention all-state honors as a sophomore . . . All-conference in baseball all four years and three years in basketball . . . Earned MVP honors at both the state basketball and baseball tournaments his junior season as Pleasant Plains took home titles in each sport . . . Dual MVP honors earned him mention in the Chicago Tribune’s Top 25 Sports Events of the Year for 1999-2000 . . . Member of USA Today’s 2000 All-USA team and named one of the top 25 players in the state in 2000 by the Chicago Sun-Times . . . As a senior was named the first-team all-state shortstop by the Chicago Tribune and was the Springfield State Journal-Register Male Athlete of the Year . . . Participated in the IHSA Hitting Derby at the state tournament as both a sophomore and junior . . . Finished third in Mr. Basketball voting in Illinois in 2001 . . . Holds all-time scoring record in basketball at Pleasant Plains with 2,488 career points . . . Won Lt. Governor’s 2000 Youth Excellence Award and was nominated for both the 2000 Wendy’s Heisman Award and McDonald’s All-America basketball team.
Personal - Parents are Raymond and Diane Bensko . . . Majoring in sports management . . . Great uncle, Ronald Graham, played football at Illinois in 1922 . . . Served as Student Council President his senior year . . . Lists biggest thrill in sports as winning state in two different sports (baseball, basketball) his junior year, marking the first time that’s been accomplished in IHSA history . . . National Honor Society member earned numerous academic awards including the Lincoln Library Literary Award, Jacksonville Rotary Club Scholar-Athlete Award, Who’s Who Among American High School Students mention and high honor roll honors . . . Favorite athlete is Alex Rodriguez because he does his job everyday . . . Lists his parents as the biggest influence on his athletic career because “they always pushed me to do my best.”