Sumner draws positives in time with Ants, Pacers

January 4, 2019

As a player on a two-way contract with the Indiana Pacers, Edmond Sumner can spend only 45 days with the big club this season.

When the Pacers’ Victor Oladipo was out with his knee injury in November and December, Sumner spent 20 days with the Pacers, so it’s likely he’s going to be with the Mad Ants for the majority of the rest of the season : unless the Pacers opt to sign him to a standard contract.

Asked if that was good or bad, Sumner said: “It is whatever; it doesn’t really matter to me.”

He’ll be in the lineup at 7 p.m. today, when the Mad Ants play host to the Eastern Conference-worst Wisconsin Herd (3-17) at Memorial Coliseum.

Frankly, Sumner, a second-year professional, sees positives in being with both teams.

″(With Fort Wayne), you get the playing time and the opportunity to go out there and apply what you’ve been working on,” Sumner said. “Down there (with the Pacers), you get the experience of being at the high level and the taste of what you want to stay at, so it’s good.”

Sumner has played 10 games this season with the Ants, averaging a team-best 21.1 points, 3.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds with a team-worst 3.8 turnovers.

The Mad Ants are coming off one of their best games of the season : a 101-93 road victory Wednesday over the Westchester Knicks. Sumner had 22 points, six assists and two turnovers in that game, and Fort Wayne responded to coach Steve Gansey’s call to protect the ball better.

Both teams had 13 turnovers.

“We’ve got guys going up and down and I feel like that plays a factor; we’ve got different lineups,” said Sumner, who, with Alize Johnson, Ike Anigbogu and Davon Reed, has gone back and forth to the NBA.

“We’ve got to get used to that, get used to playing with different lineups. That’s one of the biggest things. We’ve got guys coming off the bench giving us sparks and us guys in the starting lineup have got to be ready to go from the get-go.”

Sumner, 23, who missed much of his rookie season recovering from a knee injury suffered at Xavier, has played seven Pacers games this season, making 2 of 7 shots for five points with one assist in 27 minutes.

“I’m just trying to be a better player overall,” Sumner said.

With the Mad Ants (10-10), who lead the Central Division, he’s shared the backcourt with a bevy of players including Reed, Rob Gray, Tra-Deon Hollins, Elijah Stewart, Stephan Hicks and Je’lon Hornbeak.


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