December 31, 2001 - by
Monte Cummings: Working His Way To The Top

Dec. 31, 2001

Senior Seminole guard Monte Cummings is a person who has the determination to win and gives 110% in every game. He hopes people will see him as a unique person when compared to others.

As the top returning sixth-man in the ACC, Cummings averaged 10.7 points and 3.3 rebounds (second on the team) during his first season as a Division I player last year.

This year, his is a starter and among the team’s leading scorers.

“I have determination out of this world. I won’t let anything or anybody get me down to the point where it affects my game,” he said.

Cumming transferred to Florida State after playing one year at Southeastern Community College and serving four years in the U.S. Army. Along the way, he encountered many situations, such as basic training and the Bosnian Conflict, which made him a stronger more determined person.

“I had no backbone when I was growing up. I was not stable,” he said. “The army taught me to stick with things. To weather the storms, I guess you could say. The army taught me to have determination and that is what I always bring on the court with me.”

After junior college Cummings set many goals with one of his top goals. His top goal was to come to Florida State and to become successful both in the classroom and on the basketball court.

“When it came to Florida State, I saw how the fans and everybody really got excited when it came to basketball, plus my family lives near by,” he said.

Besides determination to win, Cummings has the determination to raise his son, Shawn. According to Monte, Shaun contributes to his maturity and his positive attitude.

“He is the little man who sparks me,” he said. “I look forward to hearing what he has to say about my game everyday.”

While the Seminole basketball team strives for success, Cummings feels as if this will be a successful season for the team.

“This year we go into games not just to play with teams, we are playing in to beat them. We are going in with our heads high and we the confidence we are going to win. That is the bottom line,” Cummings said.

Working hard has always been a part of Cummings’ mentality and he feels there is always room for improvement in his game.

“I have to be able to hit the long range shot. Last year, I was able to hit the basket a lot, so this year they are going to watch for that. I worked hard this summer on improving my long outside shot,” he said.

Monte has a lot of faith in his team and believes that the team has an abundance of great basketball skills.

“We have talent. All we have to do is get everyone on the same page and we’ll be really good. We have a lot guys that can do some things that I haven’t seen in a long time,” he said.

The 2001-2002 men’s basketball team has something different about them this year that can significantly distinguish them from last year’s team.

“We have the expectation to win. Everyone out there is trying to do the same thing. Last year we didn’t know what to expect, but this year we have a team full of season veterans. We know how to deal with those crunch time situations and that’s a big difference,” Cummings said.

Cummings has a tremendous love for the game of basketball.

“It is the most exciting sport there is,” said Cummings. “You have so many different players that can do so many different things on the court that makes each trip down the court fun. You have to be skilled in many different areas to be a good basketball player.”

Aside from basketball and fatherhood, Monte has other responsibilities that consume his time as well, such as schoolwork and planning his future.

“I would like to put myself in a spot where I will be able to take care of my family. I’m not looking forward to going to the NBA per se. I just want to be able to take care of my family whether on or off the court,” he said.

“I am probably one of the few players that are playing ball in the country that really knows what it’s like in the real world. Having to get up to go to a nine to five job is something I miss, believe it or not. I’m looking forward to making my own money,” he said. “I am a social science major, but I am looking towards going back to what I was doing in the military – working with planes.”

Wherever Cummings ends up and whatever happens for him on or off the court, he is confident he will do fine in all aspects of life.

By Janette Ruiz
Sports Information Assistant
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