The Washington Post

Stephen Lumpkins returning to American basketball team after giving pro baseball a shot

Stephen Lumpkins averaged 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds, and led the Patriot League in field goal percentage (59.2) as a junior. (Mark Gail/WASHINGTON POST)

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.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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