Nov. 10, 1999
LOS ANGELES - T. J. Cummings, a 6-9, 205-pound forward from Homewood-Flossmoor, IL HS and the son of former DePaul star and current NBA standout Terry Cummings, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at UCLA. He will be an incoming freshman next fall.
Entering his senior prep season, Cummings' preseason honors include ' Athlon's No. 7 power forward in the U. S., Basketball News' No. 20 player in the U. S., The Sporting News' No. 23 player in the U. S. and the No. 28 player in the nation by scout Bob Gibbons (All Star Scouting Service).
"The UCLA coaching staff is thrilled to sign a player of T. J. Cummings' caliber," said Bruin head coach Steve Lavin. "We believe T. J. is one of the premier front line players in America. T. J's versatility and skill level will be a great asset to our team."
Prep recruiting experts around the nation are impressed with Cummings' ability.
"He is an excellent inside/outside player," said Gibbons. "He can play the small and power forward and also has excellent perimeter skills. He obviously has great bloodlines in him from his father, Terry. I think he's an outstanding addition to the Bruins."
HoopScoop's Clark Francis echoes Gibbons' observations. "T. J. Cummings is a great get for UCLA," Francis said. "He provides immediate help up front for the Bruins next year. He's a four-year player who will bring hard work and a great attitude each day to the practice floor. He is a Top 20 player with an old-fashioned work ethic and unlimited potential. He will be considered one of the better players in the country when he graduates from UCLA."
In 1998-99 as a junior at Homewood-Flossmoor under coach Roy Condotti, Cummings averaged 18.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 5.0 steals. He was named Player of the Year in the SICA East Conference, one of the strongest prep conferences in the state of Illinois.
Cummings, who chose UCLA over Duke, was also considering DePaul, Kansas, Michigan, St. John's and Ohio State. He has relatives who live in southern California and his father plays for the Golden State Warriors and lives in San Francisco.
His father, Terry, is in his 18th season in the NBA. He was the 1982-83 NBA Rookie of the Year with the San Diego Clippers and is a two-time (1985 and '89) NBA All-Star. As a junior at DePaul in 1982, the elder Cummings was a Sporting News first-team All-American. During his DePaul career, T. J.'s father faced the Bruins four times, with each team winning twice.