posttrib
ALOOF 
Weather Updates

Hummel optimistic about NBA chances next season

Robbie Hummel. /Steve Robinson~for Sun-Times media

Robbie Hummel. /Steve Robinson~for Sun-Times media

storyidforme: 50326694
tmspicid: 18756953
fileheaderid: 8444109

If you go

Robbie Hummel
Basketball Camp

Who: Boys and girls in first to eighth grade

When: Tuesday to June 14

Where: The Fieldhouse-Merrillville

Session 1: Grades 1 to 5,
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Session 2: Grades 6 to 8,
noon to 2 p.m.

Cost: $100 for either session

Details: The Robbie Hummel Basketball Camp will provide individual instruction on shooting, ballhandling, passing, defense and team concepts. Competition (5-on-5) will also be used as a training tool.

For more information: The Fieldhouse-Merrillville, 738-2424 or thefieldhouse-merrillville.com

Updated: July 7, 2013 1:07PM



VALPARAISO — February was something of a turning point for Robbie Hummel.

When he left Spain to return home for a long weekend, he was playing relatively well and his team’s record was 9-11, not good enough to qualify for the midseason tournament in that country’s top league — allowing him the time off. After going back to Europe following a Thursday-to-Sunday visit to the United States — one that included the official banner dedication ceremony of his No. 4 jersey in the Mackey Arena rafters at halftime of Purdue’s Feb. 9 game against Michigan State — his game ticked upward and he helped Blusens Monbus Obradoiro qualify for the Liga ACB playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

There was the small matter, too, of Hummel continuing his recovery from the surgery to repair meniscus damage in his right knee — the same one in which he twice tore his ACL — on Sept. 18 in New York. He said it took until December for him to return to form.

Based on his performance and physical condition, the Valparaiso High graduate is confident he has positioned himself for an opportunity to play in the NBA next season, with the Minnesota Timberwolves retaining his rights.

“It was a few things,” Hummel, who missed the first six games of the season before debuting on Nov. 10, said when asked about his second-half strides in Spain. “I just started shooting the ball way better. And the meniscus surgery, it’s not a hard surgery to come back from, but you have to get your playing legs back. And it was just an adjustment to the game; it’s officiated differently, especially some of the rules with how they call traveling.”

In 14 games through Feb. 3, Hummel averaged 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 17.2 minutes, primarily off the bench; he reached double-figure scoring five times. In 16 games beginning on Feb. 17, he averaged 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in 21.9 minutes, almost exclusively as a starter; he reached double-figure scoring 14 times.

Hummel ended the season averaging 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds, both third on the team despite playing 19.7 minutes, just sixth on the team. He shot 49.2 percent from the field, 41.2 from 3-point range and 89.1 from the foul line.

Obradoiro — which has played at various levels in Spain since its founding for the 1970-71 season — finished with an 18-16 record to secure the eighth and final postseason spot in the 18-team league, before bowing out to regular-season champion Real Madrid in two games in the best-of-three quarterfinals.

“People were pretty jacked about it,” said Hummel, whose season highs were 19 points, nine rebounds and 30 minutes, as playing time typically was well-distributed. “The fan support for our team was tremendous. Our game at home in the playoffs was sold out. The hype around the city was pretty high.”

Obradoiro was eliminated on May 26, and Hummel headed home last Thursday, ahead of an important and busy summer for him.

The Timberwolves selected him in the second round (No. 58 overall) of last June’s draft, and the parties agreed he would play the 2012-13 season in Spain, largely because of their glut of forwards. He’s “ready to go full bore” to make their roster for the 2013-14 season, though changes in their front office — Flip Saunders was named president of basketball operations last month, after David Kahn was let go — could add another element of uncertainty. He is expected to play for their entry in the 22-team Las Vegas summer league, scheduled to run from July 12 to 22.

“They wanted to see if I could stay healthy, and I proved that I could,” said Hummel, who averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 15.5 minutes in five games in Las Vegas for the Timberwolves last year. “My knee feels great, 100 percent normal.

“I feel like I had a great season, and it helped me a lot. You practice so much, playing only one game a week, you’re bound to improve. Seeing the game from a different perspective and playing with different rules, it’s only going to make you better.”

Hummel was scheduled to take a vacation with friends this week, before his inaugural youth camp begins on Tuesday at The Fieldhouse-Merrillville. Other instructors scheduled to be on hand over the four days include former Purdue point guard Lewis Jackson; recent Boilermakers graduates D.J. Byrd and Dru Anthrop; and former Ohio State standout William Buford, Hummel’s teammate in Spain.

“We’ve put together a really good staff for the kids,” said Hummel, who earlier this week estimated 120 participants had signed up. “It’ll be a great thing for them. A lot of these guys have played at a high level, and played in big games, and we think the kids can really learn a lot. Hopefully it can be a great experience for the kids in our first year, and we can keep building it bigger and better.”



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.