There are one million and one reasons why St. John's signee Amir Garrett should have woken up today with a big smile on his face.
An ESPNU top-100 recruit in the 2011 class, Garrett agreed to terms last night on a contract with the Cincinnati Reds that includes a $1 million signing bonus over five years, according to Baseball America.
The 22nd round draft pick will be paid handsomely while honing his craft as a left-handed pitcher, and best of all for Steve Lavin's purposes, the added bonus is that the 6-foot-6 Garrett will still be able to play forward for St. John's.
"I'm blessed to be able to be apart of the #Reds baseball organization and still be able to play basketball at St. Johns," Garrett tweeted. "#God is Great."
Garrett's intention to play basketball in the fall and baseball in the summer is welcome news for a St. John's team in search of breakout stars from its freshman class to replace the 10-player senior class that reached the NCAA tournament last season in Lavin's first year. Garrett will fit right in with the third-ranked class in the nation.
Garrett could have easily taken the baseball money and walked away from basketball. He got the baseball contract worked out shortly before the draft signing deadline at midnight and will attempt to tap his potential on the diamond as well, as tall lefties with good life on the fastball don't come around very often. Being the best dual-sport athlete he can be now becomes the goal.
"Amir Garrett is a special talent," Lavin said on basketball signing day. "His length, explosiveness, quickness, and highly-skilled game make him an ideal fit for our system of play. Amir was clearly the most tenacious prospect that we evaluated in the 2011 recruiting class and his highly competitive nature will be critical as we build our program."