Hummel Holding Head Up High

HANG TIME WEST – The draft case of what might have been is down to its final eight days of uncertainty. Robbie Hummel, once a candidate for the first round, heads to June 28 hoping just to make the second.

Big deal. It’s nothing like the uncertainty he faced the last couple years at Purdue. It’s nothing like the question marks he answered, to himself most of all, about being able to play close to NBA level again.

Hummel tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee late in his junior season. He made it back in time for the opening practice of his senior season and at the time was considered a possibility for the first round if he proved in 2010-11 that the leg had regained its strength. The NBA likes shooters with range and passing ability.

And then he tore the same ACL again.

Hummel redshirted and finally got his senior season in 2011-12. It was a good one, too – honorable mention All-America, fourth in the Big Ten in scoring and rebounds, 26 points and nine rebounds in the NCAA Tournament against Kansas. Now he has to find out if it was good enough for the NBA.

“Maybe late second,” one general manager said. “…. If he would have been healthy, I could have seen him as maybe a late first, early second-round pick. It is too bad.”

There is a feeling of accomplishment no matter what.

“Yeah, there was a little bit of a doubt” whether he would make it back, Hummel said. “Obviously coming off two (injuries), you don’t want it to be three. Before the season started, I was, I guess, a little apprehensive about that. Then once I started playing, I knew that I’d be able to get back, but I didn’t know if I’d be any good. I didn’t know if I’d be able to get back to a level of any NBA team actually having an interest in me. There were some frustrating times. For a while there, I wasn’t shooting the ball that good. But by the end of the season, I thought I was playing the best that I had in a long time. I was shooting the ball better and I finished on kind of a high note for me personally against Kansas in the NCAA Tournament.

“I wanted it (being drafted) to happen a couple years ago, but some things happened that were kind of outside my control. Unfortunately, I had those two knee injuries. But I think at the same time, it makes this whole process much more worthwhile. You go through something like double-ACL surgery, you appreciate playing basketball. When you can just do that and go through the NBA Draft process, it’s pretty cool.”

He sees himself going in the second round, with the realistic appraisal that “the knee has obviously probably scared some teams off.” No probably about it. The knee is a concern. But the comeback is a question mark being answered.


  1. Charles Williams says:

    As a Detroit Piston fan, if Hummel is not drafted, I would like to see the Pistons work out a deal to sign and send him
    to Europe for at least a year for further work and development. I see more potential as an NBA small forward in Hummel
    than I see in the Pistons’ 2nd round draft pick from Duke made last year.

  2. Raf says:

    Even if he’s undrafted, plenty of teams will give him a shot at making the roster over summer. Exactly the sort of guy any team would love to get their hands on without guaranteed money or a long term contract to weigh them down if his knee gives out again.

  3. C_E_Go_Boss says:

    Robbie Hummel is a sure fit for the NBA. Kid has been snake bit of the past few years & yet he’s still standing. Any team that takes a chance on him won’t be going wrong. Did anyone happen to notice how he single handedly kept Purdue in their bid for the NCAA Title only to fall short not due to lack of effort. I can generally tell if a player has game by the way he moves & Hummel is going to make more than a few people believers given the chance. Wouldn’t mind seeing him go to the Heat, Lord knows they need some more weapons if they hope to repeat as World Champs.

  4. Dave says:

    I think Robbie Hummel can be a good pro, but I’m not sure he’s going to make it (at least in the NBA). Those inopportune injuries have hurt him a lot facing the NBA Draft. So I think he might go overseas and play in Europe. If he does that, Spain should be his destination, where he can really test his skills in a very strong league. Maybe in a few years, if he stays healthy, after improving his game and being scouted by NBA teams, he can take a chance at the NBA.

    Good luck man!

  5. Bob M says:

    Come to Korea, the pay isn’t like Russia or Turkey, but it’s a nice place to live and your game fits in well with the Korean style. Getting big contracts in some Euro leagues is nice, but you Asia is great place to experience when you are a young man.