Edmond Sumner cleared for contact work, itching to get out there

Edmond Sumner continues to progress through rehabilitation from a torn left ACL suffered last January while at Xavier University.

Over the last few weeks, he has been on the court shooting and doing light drills.

“Basically he’s just warming up,” head coach Nate McMillan said on Nov. 22. “He can’t do anything live. He’s scripting some of the plays but he’s not doing any type of defense shell or anything live.”

On Friday, the first of December, Sumner shared a story on his Instagram suggesting that he’s cleared for contract work.

This is never an easy or fun process. It’s especially difficult moving to a new situation, as he did from Xavier to the NBA, and being limited from the start. Through it all, he has tried to be engaged and soak in as much as he can.

“I’m itching to get out there, but I need to be patient,” he said during training camp. “Once I’m out there, I’m out there. I don’t want to have any mishaps. So I’m going to sit back, be patient, do what everybody tells me to do, and just use my mind right now.

“That’s the biggest thing [while I’m out]. But it’s hard when you’re not out there getting the physical reps. But I’m trying to get the mental reps.”

Sumner, the 52nd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, looked over play sheets while his teammates practice and execute the plays. He’s trying to visualize where he’d be on the court. And he’s asking questions.

Still, it’s a lot to process for the 21-year-old rookie who would be a junior at Xavier.

“There’s a lot thrown at you at once. In college, it’s a lot, too, but it’s slowly, slowly progressing to it. In the NBA, the first day you’re learning a lot so it’s a lot to take in.”

In addition to dealing with a injury rehabilitation, he’s also had to learn quickly about the business of basketball. After an FBI investigation resulted in charging 10 individuals with fraud and corruption, as part of a two-year investigation in college basketball, Sumner cut ties with ASM Sports.

Sumner’s primary agent was Christian Dawkins, who was caught up in this FBI probe and was previously fired for charging $42,000 of Uber receipts to a client’s credit card.

Myles Turner, meanwhile, pledged his support to the Andy Miller-led firm.

“We’re dealing with different people,” Sumner said of his experience versus Myles’. “We talked for like a second about the situation but we have two different roles. He has a different relationship [with ASM Sports] because he had a different agent.”

The combination of a new home, new team, and another agent has forced Sumner to learn on the fly

“I’ll probably sit down with a few [agents],” said Sumner, who is required to wait 15 days between firing and hiring new representation. “I’ve already got a few people in mind so it’s not like I’m about to go on the open market. I’m just trying to get everything done now and get the hassle over with. I’m not trying to do this all over again.”

Sumner signed a two year, two-way deal with the Pacers. Once he’s ready for more on-court work, he will be sent up to Fort Wayne to join the Mad Ants. Alex Poythress, also on a two-day contract, will make his season debut with the Mad Ants Saturday night against Westchester.

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