Not many athletes can say there was an opportunity to play professionally in multiple sports. Former Serra High School star Stephen Lumpkins is one of the few.
Following his junior year at American University, Lumpkins was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 13th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. But after an unsuccessful season in rookie ball, he returned to American to complete his basketball career.
He had taken a year off from basketball and looked as if he had never left. Lumpkins led the team in points, rebounds and blocks on his way to a place on the All-Patriot League second team.
Lumpkins is looking overseas for the opportunity to play professionally and has some things in the works, but in the meantime is keeping his game up by playing in the 34th San Francisco Bay Area Pro-Am. He scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds Wednesday night as his team, South Bay, won 126-122 in overtime.
"It's great," he said. "There are a lot of big guys out here, a lot of athletic guys and a couple of NBA guys. There are good players on every team."
Lumpkins saw some good big men throughout his senior season and held his own. He scored 13 points against USF on Nov. 19 and had 16 points and six boards against No. 6 Kansas. Coming back to the Bay Area got no easier in his second Pro-Am game with former West Catholic Athletic League star Drew Gordon on the floor.
"You get better playing against better players, bigger players," Lumpkins said. "You get to work on the skills you work on during the week."
He also has some good teammates to learn from. Local icon and current Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin is on the team along with former St. Mary's standout Diamon Simpson, who also spent time with the Rockets during the 2011-12 season.
"They're really good at talking on the court," Lumpkins said. "They see things in a game just by playing more that I don't see. They help you get in the right spot and know where to work from."
Lumpkins is biding his time training and working out with some of the players at USF and also at Serra, waiting for the call from his agent that will have him playing professional basketball.
Not many can say they will have played professionally in two sports. Lumpkins will soon be able to.