With his senior year of high school winding down, Sanjay Lumpkin has Northwestern on his mind.
In anticipation of summer practice for the Wildcats beginning in June, the three-star wing out of Benilde-St. Margaret’s School, just outside Minneapolis, has taken up a new sport—track and field.
“I wanted to go to college in the best shape possible,” said Lumpkin, who runs both the 400-meter dash and 4 x 400-meter relay and is also lifting weights regularly. “I decided to go out for the track team a couple weeks ago to give me something to do after school and to get more explosive; I wanted to be ready to go in June.”
After a successful 27-2 campaign for St. Margaret’s, Lumpkin was a finalist for Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball award, and was named First Team All-State by the All-Pioneer Press.
Committing to Northwestern last summer, Lumpkin cited the team dynamic as a major selling point.
“I went down there and felt really comfortable with my teammates,” Lumpkin explained. “Tre Demps really reached out to me on my visit, I’ve been texting him a lot and we might room together next year. They’re all cool dudes and really made me feel like I was part of the team before I even committed.”
For Lumpkin, the package of a Big Ten school with a great education was too much to pass up. The future Wildcat looks forward to playing in front of friends and family around the conference as the team chases its first-ever NCAA tournament berth.
“[Playing at Minnesota] should be a fun experience,” said Lumpkin. “A lot of my friends are going there and to other Big Ten schools. Just to get the chance to play in front of my coaches and other people I know will be really special.”
At 6-foot-6, Lumpkin’s size and skill set on the perimeter should play well in Northwestern’s system, in which all-around players like Drew Crawford have excelled.
Though minutes might be scarce as the Wildcats return their entire guard corps, Lumpkin is unconcerned.
“I see myself as a player that can do a lot of things,” said Lumpkin. “I can guard and play multiple positions, be a good defender and knock down shots. I just want to be as versatile as I can, which helps in the Princeton offense where positions are interchangeable. I just want to come in, do my best and make the best impact I can.”