PROVO — Whether it's in the United States or across the Atlantic, a professional basketball career awaits former BYU Cougar swingman Lee Cummard.
Like any young basketball star, Cummard hopes that career is going to be in the NBA. At this point, however, many draft prognosticators believe Cummard's pro basketball paychecks are likely going to come from overseas.
Last season, the 6-foot-7 guard/small forward from Mesa High School in Arizona averaged about 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game. He made 52 percent of his field goals and 39 percent from 3-point range. As a junior, he was named the Mountain West Conference co-player of the year, and he finished his career as BYU's ninth all-time leading scorer, first in games played, sixth in steals and second in free-throw percentage.
Tonight he'll be watching the NBA draft from his parents' home in Arizona, hoping to hear his named called.
"It's an exciting time," Cummard said last week from Arizona, where he's been working out for long hours daily, trying to increase his strength and size.
Cummard's thin frame seems to be what concerns NBA scouts most. Early last season, he was projected by ESPN Insider as a late first-round or early second-round selection. Now, many draft experts feel Cummard won't be picked at all. Others say he could go late in the second round to San Antonio, Sacramento, Phoenix, Boston or Miami.
Cummard has worked out individually for several NBA teams the past few weeks, and went to group workouts in Minnesota and New Jersey, where most NBA teams had scouts on hand.
"Every team that has wanted to see me work out has seen me," Cummard said. "It's been kind of a grind, but it's been a good experience as well."
If not drafted, Cummard will likely latch on with some team's summer-league squad and try to earn an NBA roster spot via the free-agent route. If nothing in the NBA pans out, he's sure to catch on in a foreign league and make a nice living there while continuing to work on gaining the NBA's attention.
"All I can do is see what happens, kind of take it day by day, and go from there," Cummard said.
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