By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The fun of the summer for basketball is catching up with people who have moved on.

Sanjay Lumpkin was a product of Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School. He went to Northwestern University, and is now knocking on the NBA’s door.

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Lumpkin is back in town, playing basketball with friends in the Pro Am League, and it feels like home.

“It’s a really nice set up. It’s really nice to, you know, play against a lot of guys I played against in high school that, you know, I haven’t even seen in a long time,” Lumpkin said.

When he left Benilde-St Margaret’s, he landed at Northwestern, and made history as part of an NCAA Tournament team. The team defied the odds, and so did he.

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“If you would’ve told me I would’ve been a four-year starter at Northwestern, you know, starting almost every game in the Big Ten,” he said. “When I was in high school, a lot of people didn’t see it. You know, I worked my butt off and, you know, it was great to see it pay off and be able to make the NCAA Tournament. That’s really why I wanted to go there.”

He has since landed in the G League, the NBA’s version of Triple-A basketball.

“That was my first year in the G League, played overseas the previous year before that in Belgium. But you know, the G League, the competition was great,” Lumpkin said. “Guys getting called up up and down in between the NBA all the time, so it really, really gives you a chance to see what you need to work on.”

That’s why he’s here this summer, to help further a dream — a dream that one day he will get that call to the NBA.

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“That’s the next step, for sure. I mean, playing in the G League, everyone’s right there. You see how close and how good everyone really is,” Lumpkin said. “You have to do something to set yourself apart, and you know, everyone’s grinding toward the same mission, so it’s not easy.”

Mike Max