Simon Cummings (185-PG-90, college: Florida Tech) is a 23 year old 185cm point guard from Port St Lucie, Florida that is looking to start his second professional season. He played at Florida Tech (NCAA2) from 2008-2012. Lasts eason as a rookie he played in England for the London Leopards (United Kingdom-EBL D1, starting five): 17 games: 18.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.1apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 20.8%, FT: 75.5%. Last season he almost played in Germany, but then took the offer from London. He spoke to eurobasket about basketball.
Thanks Simon for taking some time to talk to eurobasket.com. Where are you at the moment and how are you enjoying your summer vacation?
Right now I am in Florida enjoying the sunshine that this states has to offer, and also I am going to take a two week vacation to Canada in a week or so
You played as a rookie in England for the London Leopards (United Kingdom-EBL D1). Why was this one of the worst experiences for you?
I wouldn't say playing for the London leopards was the worst experiences of my life. Iwould say that adjusting to the way the game is played in England and the Fiba rules was a tough transition.
What was it like as an American to live in London? What was the coolist experience that you had there?
It was very different. I would say the people the culture the climate. Even the basketball was different but it was worth it and it was fun. The coolest experience I gain from living in London was the connectivity to Europe I got to travel a little and see Europe which most people don't get to do.
In pre season, you had an offer from German Pro B team SC Rist Wedel. Why didnt you take that?
Well right after my college season was over. I was approached by Rist Wedel with an offer. This was my first pro contract offer and I didnt know what to expect, and since I had 3 more months of summer to gain exposure I felt like weighing my options was a better fit for me at that time.
You had good stats in England averaging 18.1ppg, 4.4rpg, 4.1apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 47.8%, 3PT: 20.8%, FT: 75.5%. How would you compare the style and skill level of that league compared to the NCAA 2 level?
I would say playing NCAA division 2 at the time was more demanding of my time. We had practice 6 days a week plus classes. Playing in England its tough to get gym time so most of the time practice was cut short. I wasnt a big fan of that because in college my gym was available to me whenever I wanted which is why I shot a better % from behind the arch and the FT line in college.
What was it like playing playing for 43 year old player/coach Robert Youngblood?
Playing for Robert Youngblood was a good experience. We both wanted to win and would do anything to win on any given night so playing for a competitor like that is always amazing. It was my first year as a Pro and also his first year as a coach so it was definatly a learn curve for both of us in our young careers.
Youngblood has been playing in England since 1994. Wasnt he able to make you a bit more comfortable there?
Youngblood did his best to make the situation as home as possible. The most important thing to me was gym availability, and with the way our club was set up this year it wasnt much he could do to get me extra gym time to work on my game.
The Leopards reached the semi finals of the playoffs. How happy were you with the team season and what was missing from winning a title?
Well this year was full of ups and downs. But with our backs against the wall we came together the second part of the season and put together a great run down the stretch wining 8 out of 11 games to win the National trophy finish top four in our league and make it to the final four. We went into overtime to against the best team in the league after controlling the whole game and lost by 5 on some questionable calls. But all in all we put our best foot forward and im proud of the guys.
You played four years at Florida Tech for Billy Mims. What was the most important thing that you learned from him that has gotten you prepared for a professional career?
Playing for Mims was amazing. Ever since day one he drilled a professional attitude into me. Once I walked onto campus he made sure I approached every workout and everyone lesson like a professional. Not just basketball, when we went into the community to do volunteer work he made sure that I acted and looked professional. so the most important thing I would say I learned from Coach Mims was a professional attitude and work ethic.
You got an NCAA 2 record making 10 consecutive three pointers against Trinity. Did you know early on that you would have a big day from outside?
The funny things about that day that I hit 10 in a row, me and my assistant coach Ryan Ballard was joking around during shoot around. Ryan said to me "Cinco when are you going to get your self in the record books" I replied to him before the year is over im going break the record for most 3s made in a game at Florida Tech. and that night I broke both records most 3pts made in a row and most made in a game with 12.
What is a strength in your game that doesnt get noticed right away?
I would say my passing. People who watched me play know I can shoot/score and they know I have a strong body that can finish through traffic but I think those skills amaze people more than my court vision.
Who is your point guard role model and too what player could you compare your game to?
Growing up I admired Jason Kidd he is the reason I wear number 5 to this day when he played for the New jersey Nets. I would compare my game to Will Bynum. We have the same body frame and the same ability to penetrate and score through contact.
Your nickname is cinco. Why do people call you this? In Spanish it means five.
Well ive been wearing number 5 ever since I started playing basketball and one day in high school sitting in spanish class I wrote all over my book "Agent~Cinco" and the cinco just stuck but the agent fell off just as quick as gilbert arenas did.
Who was the best player that you played against in college that is in the NBA now?
I played against some good players during my college career like Tony Denison from FSU Jermaine Taylor from UCF and Chandler Parson from UF but the best I would say is Tony Denison because that was my match up, but as far as success in the league till today. I would have to say CP the way he played for the Houston Rockets this season was unbelievable.
Who would win a one on one in practice you or Julius Reid?
This question is probably the funniest of them all because till this day me and Ju Reid go at it on the court! He was my sidekick for 3 years and us playing one on one came up plenty of times. Even though i wont most of the battles I would say its always a tuff match up because he knew my game just as well as I know his.
Would you like to come to Germany to play? What do you know about the league and country?
I would love to come to Germany and play. I have heard great things about the country and its basketball. I know the Beko Basketball Bundesliga is respected all through Europe and the countries ProA and ProB is a great chance to play against so great players.
Do you have any friends playing in Germany now?
I know a couple of people who played in Germany and who is playing in Germany. Im close friends with Dejuan Collins, he started his pro career in Germany. Also I have spoke to Augie johnston a couple of times. My good friend Willie Withfield also played last season in Germany.
If you could sell yourself in a few sentences as to why you would be a good fit for a team how would you describe yourself as a player?
Im a team player first. What ever the team needs done ill do it. If its locking down the opposing teams best guard ill do my best. If its score ill do it, if im asked to set people up and get them open looks ill do it. Im willing to do anything that will help my team win a championship. The last two programs I played at I walked away with the MVP honors and a Championship that the program has NEVER won. In college Florida Tech has never won a conference championship and my senior year I helped deliver that. At the Essex Leopards a team that won the treble last year has never won the "national trophy" and I help deliver that.
How does a typical Simon Cummings work out day look like in summer?
On a typical day of workouts I would get up get breakfast. Then hit the weight room for about an hours and a half. Then After the weight room I would get up about 500 shots and work on certain moves and floaters to better my game. Then I would grab some lunch and take a 2 hour break. Then go to a local gym for open gym for cardio and game like simulation.
Your favorite athlete is Kobe Bryant. Do you feel that he will return and be the old Kobe Bryant?
I feel like Kobe is battling father time, and saying that father time is undefeated. But taking time off to heal properly I think this can pro-long his career for 2 years and he will still be a scoring threat. But the same Kobe Bryant, I doubt it.
What is your alltime basketball dream that you would like to see come true besides being an NBA player?
My all time goals for hoops is just to be a winner. A lot of players get all the fame and attention while they are playing but if you dont win anything you wont be remembered.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The last DVD I Watched honestly was "kobe doing work" by spike lee.
but the last movie I saw was Fast 6
Thanks Simon for the chat.