Recent alumnus Ian Hummer ’13, second only to Bill Bradley ’65 on Princeton’s all-time scoring list, may still be playing basketball next year. Hummer had his first workout with an NBA team on Friday with the Phoenix Suns and will work out with the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings later this month.
The news comes on the heels of Hummer’s senior season, in which he was named Ivy League Player of the Year and seven-time Ivy League Player of the Week while captaining the Tigers, who finished 17-11 overall and 10-4 in the Ancient Eight. The NBA Draft begins June 27.
Head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said he did not know the specifics of Hummer’s plans but was excited.
“I can just tell you I’m really happy for Ian, and I think it’s a well-deserved opportunity,” he said.
He added that he and Hummer had been discussing the path to professional basketball for some time.
“Since the season’s ended we’ve pretty much talked every day,” he said. “Once Ian got through his thesis and we knew that graduation was right around the corner, he’s been pretty focused with just training.”
Hummer, whose uncle John Hummer ’70 was taken in the first round of the 1970 NBA Draft and played in the NBA for six years, acknowledged that he is a long shot.
“It's gonna be tough,” he said. “I'll probably go undrafted, but in the long run it could be a blessing in disguise.”
Still, Hummer said he felt good about his first workout. NBA workouts consist of a small group of players shooting around, playing one-on-one and generally showcasing how they match up with the talent around them. Hummer said he believes that he will shine if given the opportunity to play in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League, in which teams experiment with changes to their rosters and even invite some unsigned players.
“Hopefully I get picked up by a summer league team, and we’ll go from there … and just show guys what I can do in a gametime situation, where I’m more comfortable than I would be one-on-one or two-on-two,” he said.
Though he did not want to speculate on Hummer’s chances, Henderson said he had no doubt that Hummer would be an asset to any team.
“I would say [to an NBA coach] you’re gonna get somebody that puts the team first and is, along with everybody else in your franchise, is about the right things,” he said. “You need a competitor. He wants to be the best and play with the best, and he’s got an eye for the game. And he loves to play.”
Hummer confirmed the four workouts mentioned above and said there was a possibility that he would work out with two or three more teams before the 27th.