It’s hard to get into a lather about college basketball when college football season has arrived, but I just had a good conversation with Lee Cummard, the former Mesa High hoops star who’s entering his senior season at Brigham Young.
Cummard is back in town, as he is for a chunk of every summer, and taped some media spots on Wednesday for the Stadium Shootout tournament in December, featuring Arizona State vs. BYU and Louisville vs. Minnesota at University of Phoenix Stadium.
The 2004 high school player of the year in Arizona eclipsed 1,000 points for his college career last season. He declared for the NBA draft and worked out for a few NBA teams, but wisely pulled out of the draft and will return for his senior season.
A few weeks after the draft, he and his wife, Sarah, had their first child: Lee Casey Cummard Jr., or Casey, to keep everyone straight.
He’s done his own workouts this summer, and is returning to BYU for school and team workouts. The Cougars went 27-8 and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament, feats he says can be topped this season.
He grew up with dreams of playing at ASU (and former coach Rob Evans recruited him) but chose BYU over four Pac-10 schools — ASU, UCLA, Oregon and Oregon State — and sounded like a man with no reason to look back and wonder.
Now if he could just get enough tickets for Glendale …
“I’m going to need much more than a few dozen,” he said. “My first game in Provo, there were 85 people, mostly family. I don’t know who’s going to come out of the woodwork.” More than 100? “I’d say so,” he said. “The phone will be turned off that week.”