Stephen Lumpkins returning to American basketball team after giving pro baseball a shot
By Steven Goff,
Stephen Lumpkins, who left the American University men’s basketball team after his junior year in 2011 to pursue a baseball career, has re-enrolled and, pending Patriot League approval, plans to play this season.
“Being away for a year made me realize how much I miss basketball,” said Lumpkins, who was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2011 as a pitcher. “I enjoyed my three years on the AU team very much and I am hopeful I can play again in my final year.”
Lumpkins remains within the NCAA’s five-year eligibility window. Signing a pro contract in one sport doesn’t prevent an athlete from maintaining amateur status in another pursuit.
As a junior, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward averaged 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds, and led the league in field goal percentage (59.2).
With the AZL Royals, a rookie league baseball team in Arizona, Lumpkins was 2-1 with a 7.02 ERA in 10 appearances in 2011 and 0-0 with a 19.64 ERA in 3 2/3 innings this season.