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As one Quaker leaves, another returns.

Guard Lamar Plummer, who left the Penn men's basketball team over winter break when he took a leave of absence from the University, yesterday confirmed that he would return to the Quakers for his senior season.

"I decided when I left that I was coming back," Plummer, who cited "personal reasons" behind his decision to take a leave of absence. "I basically just wanted to let [Penn head] coach [Fran Dunphy] know that I still wanted to be a part of the team. He and I had a very good understanding."

Plummer, who interned at an accounting firm during his semester away, said that he and Dunphy kept in contact on a fairly regular basis.

"We spoke over the phone at least once a week," Plummer said. "I would call him, or he would call me at work to see how things were going and find out how I was doing."

Plummer also kept in semi-regular contact with his teammates.

"I hung out with them after we clinched the championship and after the Princeton game," Plummer said. "I just wanted to let them know that I'm part of the team in spirit."

Plummer attended only one game after he left -- the season finale against Princeton at the Palestra -- because, he said, it was "just too hard."

"I couldn't watch it," Plummer said. "I couldn't come and sit in the stands and watch basketball."

He did play basketball, however. Plummer said he joined a league at his office, but that the competition was a little less... well, competitive.

"They were older guys," Plummer said. "It was a lot less challenging."

Plummer is now playing for Chestnut Hill Podiatry in the Sonny Hill Summer League.

But how does he fit in the Quakers plans with the rust that inevitably comes with a semester-long break?

"He's coming back right now," Dunphy said. "If he does well, he plays."

Plummer is a candidate for one of the guard spots vacated by graduating seniors Michael Jordan and Matt Langel.

While not happy about missing nearly a full season of basketball, Plummer took positives from his semester-long absence.

"It just made me very hungry, improved my concentration, my work ethic," Plummer said. "The obstacles set in front of me basically made me a better person, and I think that's going to make me a better basketball player."

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