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Mercer basketball's Ross Cummings granted medical redshirt

The team will get one of its senior leaders back next season thanks to a ruling from the NCAA.

MACON, Ga. — One of the most prolific shooters in Mercer basketball history will get a second shot at his senior season after receiving a medical redshirt.

Ross Cummings' senior year was over before it ever really began. He sprained his ankle during Mercer's pre-season games.

"I was just coming back from that our first exhibition game, and it still it wasn't 100%, so I think I came back a little too early and then it was the other foot that was taking all the pressure and stuff from jumping," he explained.

Cummings, who was the fourth best scorer in the Southern Conference his junior year, received a diagnosis of sesamoiditis -- inflammation of the tendons in his left foot.

After trying to fight through it for a few games, first-year coach Greg Gary ultimately decided to shut Cummings down. It was hard news to hear.

"The seniors Ethan and Djordje, I knew I wouldn't get to play with them after that, but then it was kind of reassuring, because I was having to suffer through it," he said.

The player affectionately known as 'the White Mamba' accepted a change in his leadership role and watched Coach Gary lead the team to 17 wins, tied for the most by a first-year Mercer coach.

"Just being able to help some of the younger guys through some of the adversity that every freshman goes through and sophomore, it was nice to be kind of an older brother to the guys," Cummings said.

Cummings was on crutches before moving to a boot, and says he's now up to jogging at home in Tennessee. 

Back in March, the SoCon granted him a medical hardship waiver to return for the 2021 season. There's a few things he's eyeing before he leaves.

"Win the SoCon tournament for the first time, but I am kind of eyeing down the three-point record for sure," he said.

Cummings has a career 173 three-pointers made, just 84 away from the all-time mark set by Mercer great Langston Hall.

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