American University Men's Basketball Head Coach Jeff Jones announced today that 6’8 forward Stephen Lumpkins intends to return to the team for the 2012-13 season. Lumpkins did not play during the 2011-12 season after being drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 13th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. While he is still within this NCAA five-year eligibility window, Lumpkins must receive approval from the Patriot League in order to compete in basketball during the 2012-13 season.
“Lumpkins is scheduled to start classes on August 27,” said Jones. "NCAA rules permit student-athletes who have participated with a professional team in one sport to remain eligible in a different sport."
Lumpkins is enrolled as a full-time student and plans to complete his degree in Business Administration from the Kogod School of Business. NCAA rules do not allow student-athletes who have triggered their professional status to receive athletic financial aid.
“I always planned to return to American and complete my degree,” said Lumpkins. “Being away for a year made me realize how much I miss basketball. I enjoyed my three years on the AU team very much and I am hopeful I can play again in my final year.”
During his three prior seasons at American from 2008-11, the Redwood City, Calif. native appeared in 94 games with 56 starts. The 2011 All-Patriot League Second Team performer has averaged 9.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in his career. His 604 career rebounds are 19th-best in program history and he is fourth all-time with 107 blocked shots. Additionally, his 54.0 career field goal percentage is seventh-best in the AU record books.
During the 2010-11 season, Lumpkins led the Patriot League in field goal percentage (59.3 percent), finished second in rebounding (8.2 rpg) and ranked ninth in scoring (13.5 ppg). He tallied nine double-doubles and his 39 blocked shots were seventh-most in a single-season in program history. This included a season-high 27-point performance on 9-of-13 shooting in a win over Colgate on Feb. 12, 2011.
In 2009-10, Lumpkins recorded 13.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg along with 48 blocks, the third-highest single-season output in program history. He registered eight double-doubles and led the team in scoring on nine occasions. Lumpkins tallied career-bests with 29 points and 15 rebounds in a win over Navy in the Patriot League Quarterfinals on March 3, 2010.
During Lumpkins’ 2008-09 freshman campaign, he played a key role off the bench as the Eagles earned their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. He averaged 3.4 points and 2.6 rebounds while appearing in all 32 games for the Eagles. He also registered a 46.3 field goal percentage and recorded 20 blocked shots.
The Eagles will begin the 2012-13 season on November 9 at Minnesota, and their home opener will take place on November 15 vs. Mount St. Mary's. Click here to view the full 2012-13 schedule.