St. John's recruit Amir Garrett, the 6-foot-6 forward out of Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., just signed a five-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds, but still intends to play basketball for the Red Storm.
Garrett was ranked by Rivals.com as the 21st best small forward in the class of 2011 and the 68th best player overall. The elite basketball player was one of the six top-100 high school players recruited by Steve Lavin and projected to be a star with the Red Storm next year. The only problem was , Garrett also had a fastball that has been clocked at 96 mph and he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22nd round.
On Monday night, Garrett agreed to a five-year contract with the Reds-- which includes $1 million signing bonus-- but the lefthander said he will still suit up for the Red Storm.
Garrett is still eligible to play college ball and tweeted this, "I'm blessed to be a part of the # Reds baseball organization and still be able to play basketball at St. John's. # God is Great."
The two-sport star hadn't thrown in a game since June 2010 until working out for the MLB Player Draft in June 2011. Garrett said he wanted to give baseball one more shot.
"My dad always said, ' Don't let good talent go to waste,'" said Garrett.
He will now join what has been called the third-ranked recruiting class-- according to Rivals.com-- at St. John's. If the school makes it to the 2012 post-season, which concludes at the end of March, Garrett would be assigned to the Reds extended spring-training or the short-season in Class-A.
Reds spokesman, Larry Herms, says their new signee will probably end up in Goodyear, Ariz competing with rehabbing players and other rookies.
The lanky lefty, with the blazing fastball, could have taken the money and walked away from college basketball, but said he will join Lavin and his young team. The St. John's coach starts next season with 10 freshman.
"Amir Garrett is a special talent," said Lavin. "His length, explosiveness, quickness and highly-skilled game make him ideal for our system of play."
He's also the only millionaire on the team.