Bender chose the Owls after his official visit to Rice last weekend.
"I loved it there," he told the news site. "I slept on it a couple of days. I talked to my parents. It kept going back to Rice."
He chose the Owls over UC Irvine, Princeton and Northeastern. Bender is the fourth 2013 recruit for Rice, joining SG Marcus Jackson (Los Angeles/Pacific Hills), C Andrew Drone (Junction, Ill./Gallatin County) and PF Denzel Davis (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highland Prep).