The last time we saw Will Cummings on the court in a Temple Owls uniform, he was surrounded by his teammates on the floor at Madison Square Garden, following an NIT semifinal loss to the University of Miami. Cummings was trying to hold back tears, after coming to the realization that he had just played his last collegiate basketball game. He would end his career with 1,245 points which ranks him 35th all-time in Temple history.
Since that night, Cummings was selected to the Reese’s College All-Star Game, the Portsmouth Invitational, and several NBA teams including the Philadelphia 76ers invited the 6’2” point guard to workout for them.
As the NBA Draft approached on Thursday night, there wasn’t a mock draft or a basketball analyst that had mentioned Will Cummings on their big boards. With the last pick in the draft, the 76ers were on the clock and they needed a point guard. How fitting would it be for Cummings to be a Sixer and play professionally in the city that he called home for four years?
To nobody’s surprise, the Sixers took a big man, their fifth of the night. The draft was over, but for Cummings, his dreams of playing in the NBA were just beginning. Thursday was a huge night for the draftees, but Friday was the day where NBA teams were able to sign any player who went undrafted.
Late Friday night, it was announced that Cummings had agreed to terms on a free agent contract with the Houston Rockets. Cummings joins former Owls Khalif Wyatt, and Dionte Christmas as players to go undrafted and sign with NBA teams. As Cummings stated in an interview at the 2015 Big 5 Banquet, “It only takes one team to really fall in love with you.” The Houston Rockets appear to be that team.
As far as making Houston’s final 12-man roster, Cummings will have to really make a name for himself in the Summer League, not to mention the Rockets already have three point guards under contract.
Dan Leibovitz, who was formerly a Temple Assistant coach under John Chaney from 1996-2006 also had a stint in the NBA during the 2012-13 season with the Charlotte Bobcats. Leibovitz is no stranger to NBA talent, and when asked if Cummings had the tools to make it in the NBA he had this to say, “It’s a game where they definitely covet speed from one end to the other, I mean Will can definitely get to… He checks that box, he can get to the basket, he’s a very willing and capable defender, I think he got stronger physically throughout his career, you know it only takes one person to like you and hopefully more than one likes Will, but I think he’s got a chance for sure.”
Cummings stated that he was trying to take his game to the next level in the offseason and really improve on his mid-range jumper, a part of his game that really needs work if he wants to succeed in the NBA.
The NIT semifinal loss to Miami was the last game that Coach Fran Dunphy would coach Will Cummings. Dunphy had some kind words for his Senior guard following the loss, “He exemplifies what a good teammate is, a good leader is, a good player, and I’m hopeful that his professional career will bear great fruit, no matter where that is.”
Cummings will try to make a name for himself in front of many fans and NBA executives on July 10th in the Vegas Summer League when the Houston Rockets take on the NBA D-League Select team at 10 p.m.
The fate of Will Cummings rests in his own hands now, and the only thing he can do now is work harder than ever and control the controllable.
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