Pat Cummings

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Pat Cummings
Personal information
Born(1956-07-11)July 11, 1956
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
DiedJune 26, 2012(2012-06-26) (aged 55)
New York City, New York
Listed height6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High schoolJohnstown (Johnstown, Pennsylvania)
CollegeCincinnati (1974–1979)
NBA draft1978 / Round: 3 / Pick: 59th overall
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career1979–1993
PositionPower forward
Number6, 42, 50
Career history
19791982Milwaukee Bucks
19821984Dallas Mavericks
19841988New York Knicks
19881990Miami Heat
1990CB Zaragoza
1990Ranger Varese
1990–1991Utah Jazz
1992–1993Rapid City Thrillers
1993Fort Wayne Fury
1993Wichita Falls Texans
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points6,259 (9.6 ppg)
Rebounds3,825 (5.6 rpg)
Assists807 (1.2 apg)
Stats at

Pat Cummings (July 11, 1956 – June 26, 2012[1]) was an American professional basketball player.

A 6-foot-9 forward with an accurate shooting touch, Cummings spent the most productive stretch of his 12-year career with the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA, averaging better than 12 points and 8 rebounds for four straight campaigns.

High school career[edit]

The son of Charles and Dolores (Gresik) Cummings, he scored 1,136 career points for Greater Johnstown High School of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He led the team to a pair of District 6 Class A championships, including a 25-1 record his senior year. He earned first-team all-state honors.[2][3]

College career[edit]

Cummings committed to attend the University of Cincinnati, coached by Gale Catlett. Cummings still holds the Bearcats' single-season field goal percentage record (.642 in 1977–78) and his career mark of .581 is second to Kenyon Martin. He is second all-time in field goals made (756) behind Oscar Robertson. In 1978–79, he averaged 24.6 points per game, fifth-highest in Bearcats' history, while also averaging a team-leading 11.3 rebounds and .823 free throw percentage. His career point total of 1,762 was second all-time to Robertson, and that total currently ranks fifth.[4]

At UC, Cummings' teams went 23-6 (1974–75), 25-6 (1975–76), 17-10 (1977–78), and 13-14 (1978–79). He did not play in 1976–77 due to a broken leg. He earned All-Metro Conference first team and was the Bearcats' MVP in 1977–78 and 1978–79. He was awarded the 1978–79 Metro Conference Player of the Year. Cummings was inducted into the James P. Kelly UC Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.[4]

NBA career[edit]

Milwaukee Bucks[edit]

Cummings was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks as a junior-eligible in 1978 (the year Boston Celtics used the same rule to draft Larry Bird). After playing out his senior season, Cummings came to the Bucks in 1979. He saw his first NBA action in the Bucks' second game, a 125-96 win over the Denver Nuggets in which he scored four points, followed by eight points in the Bucks' next game, a 131-107 win over the Utah Jazz. He did shine at times, with a then career-high 25 points on February 26, 1980 against the Los Angeles Clippers, then 30 in the third-to-last game of the season against the Denver Nuggets.[5]

Over the next three seasons, he saw limited action in a front court that included Bob Lanier, Dave Meyers, Marques Johnson, Kent Benson, and Harvey Catchings. Nevertheless, Cummings shot over 50 percent from the floor and over 70 percent from the free throw line and averaged more than six points each year.[6] On March 9, 1981, he tied his career single-game best of 30 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers.[7]

Dallas Mavericks[edit]

In 1982 the two-year-old Dallas Mavericks acquired him for a pair of draft choices. Cummings became the Mavs’ starting center and averaged 12.5 points and 8.2 rebounds with 20 or more points in 10 games.[8] After putting up similar numbers the following season, including 12 games of 20 or more points, plus back-to-back 16-point games in the playoffs against the Seattle SuperSonics,[9][9]

New York Knicks[edit]

Cummings signed with New York as a free agent.[6] In 1984–85 with the Knicks, Cummings notched the best scoring average of his career, 15.8 points per game. He not only had 23 games of 20+ points, he scored a career-high 32 points on January 28, 1985 against the Clippers, followed two nights later by another career-high of 34 against the Phoenix Suns.[10]

In 1985–86 he finally succumbed to the foot problems that had been nagging him for years. After averaging 15.7 points and 9.0 rebounds in 31 games, including tying his career-high 34 points on November 22, 1985 against the Washington Bullets, Cummings bowed out for the season and had surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle.[6][11] Cummings never quite returned to form. He spent two more seasons with the Knicks, sharing time in the front court with Bill Cartwright and Patrick Ewing.

Miami Heat[edit]

Cummings signing as a free agent with the expansion Miami Heat in 1988. He started in the Heat's first-ever game, and spent most of his two years in Miami as a backup to Rony Seikaly. Cummings was waived late in the 1989–90 campaign.

Italy/Utah Jazz[edit]

After playing professionally in Italy in 1990–91, he played a four-game stint with the Utah Jazz in 1990–91. Cummings was waived and out of the NBA at age 34.

In 12 NBA seasons, he averaged 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds, with a .497 field goal percentage and a .737 free throw percentage.[6]

He closed his professional career with two seasons in the Continental Basketball Association.[12][13]

After basketball[edit]

Cummings had resided in Loveland, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, earned his real estate license and spent several years in the real estate business.

He died of natural causes in a Greenwich Village, New York City apartment on June 26, 2012.[14] He was preceded in death by his father and his brother, Charles Jr., and was survived by his mother and his brother, Michael. He was interred at Grandview Cemetery in Johnstown.[15]


External links[edit]