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Former Penn State basketball stars debut in NBA Summer League

The former Penn State basketball standouts made their professional debuts over the weekend.



Penn State basketball, NBA Summer League, Jalen Pickett, Seth Lundy, Andrew Funk
Mar 18, 2023; Des Moines, IA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Jalen Pickett (22) controls the ball against Texas Longhorns guard Marcus Carr (5) during the second half at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Summer League officially kicked off this weekend in Las Vegas. With the Denver Nuggets and the Atlanta Hawks both in action, we got our first look at former Penn State basketball stars Jalen Pickett, Andrew Funk, and Seth Lundy with their new teams as they start their professional careers. 

Jalen Pickett shines in NBA Summer League debut

The Nuggets, featuring Pickett and Funk, took on the Milwaukee Bucks to open summer league action. Pickett shined in his pro debut, scoring 12 points with 6 rebounds and 5 assists in a team-high 33 minutes. He also tacked on 3 steals and knocked down 2 shots from deep. Pickett showed off the ball-dominant PG play we saw at Penn State all year, but he also expanded his game by playing more off-ball and using his shooting to spread the floor. 

However, Pickett’s Penn State partner on the Nuggets did not fare as well in game one. Andrew Funk got 10 minutes off the bench for Denver, and the only stats he tallied was 2 fouls. He went 0-4 from deep and could not find a consistent rhythm. After the first couple of misses, he passed up some shots he would normally take, and it seemed to throw his whole game off. The Nuggets dropped this game, losing 92-85 despite good performances from Pickett, Payton Watson, and fellow rookie Hunter Tyson. 

The Hawks had a late-night tip to finish night one against the Sacramento Kings. Lundy did not start and, unfortunately, played just 9 minutes, the least of any player for the Hawks last night. In his limited minutes, Lundy scored 3 points on 1-4 shooting from three-point range and was active on the boards with 5 rebounds. Despite getting the least playing time, Lundy had the highest +/- on the team with a +9.

Former Penn State basketball stars face off

Sunday night was a Penn State basketball reunion as the Nuggets and Hawks played each other. This was our first opportunity to see Pickett and Lundy matchup against each other in pro basketball, and they did not disappoint. Seth Lundy and the Hawks took the win 98-93 with a nice bound-back game from the newest Atlanta Hawk. Lundy scored 8 points with 3 rebounds and 3 blocks, including a powerful rejection on a Pickett turnaround jumper attempt. It looked like it would be more of the same minutes for Lundy in the first half, not playing until the second quarter. However, thanks to some great defense in the second half, he played almost the entire 4th quarter and finished with 16 minutes off the bench. 

Despite the loss, Pickett continued his strong summer league play. Leading the Nuggets in minutes again with 34, he scored 16 points with 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. Pickett’s style of play is translating really well to this new setting, slowing down the game and conducting Denver’s offense while also showing his scoring prowess with some sweet step-back threes and strong scoring inside. After a rough showing in game one, Andrew Funk did not get any playing time in the second matchup. 

When will the former Nittany Lions be in action next?

Seth Lundy will look to build off his solid performance when the Hawks take on the Timberwolves on Tuesday at 4 PM EST on ESPN2. Jalen Pickett and the Nuggets will try to get into the win column later that night against the Utah Jazz at 9:30 PM EST on NBATV. 

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