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College basketball player signs $1m baseball deal

Will play for school team and Cincinati Reds

Gulf News

New York: Amir Garrett, a St John's University freshman basketball player, will get to play his two favourite sports after signing a $1 million (Dh3.67 million) deal with Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds.

Garrett, a left-handed pitcher who throws a 96 mile-per-hour fast ball, was picked by the Reds in the 22nd round of the June 7 draft and signed the contract on Monday, according to an emailed release from the university.

The forward from Los Angeles will attend St John's in the fall to play his freshman basketball season. He'll then turn to baseball next year as a member of the Reds' minor-league system.

"Not everyone gets to play two sports they love," Garrett, 19, said in the statement.

"I'm excited to play in the Reds' organisation but definitely excited to play at St John's. I'll be able to handle business on campus during the school year and then for Cincinnati."


The contract allows Garrett to keep his collegiate eligibility this season because the Reds are paying for his schooling, in accordance with National Collegiate Athletic Association regulations, though he'll still count toward the Red Storm's limit of 13 scholarships, the release said.

Reds spokesman Larry Herms said in a telephone interview that he wasn't aware of the details of Garrett's contract. Paul Pierson, assistant director of amateur scouting, didn't return a voice mail seeking comment.

"He's a special talent," St John's coach Steve Lavin said in the release. "His length, explosiveness, quickness and highly skilled game make him an ideal fit for our system."

St John's went 21-12 last season and on February 21 entered the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in 11 years.

The team lost 96 percent of its scoring and 98 percent of its rebounding last season through graduation and departures, according to the release.

Gifts: Guards probed

Security guards at the federal courthouse in Washington are under investigation for accepting baseballs autographed by star pitcher Roger Clemens after his criminal trial.

The guards are not allowed to accept gifts from a criminal defendant. But the US Marshals Service said in a statement, first reported Tuesday by The Washington Post, that it appears up to six baseballs were given to a guard who distributed them to four or five colleagues.

The Marshals Service said it became aware of the allegations a week ago and immediately asked Pasadena based Inter-Con Security, the contractor that employs the court security officers, to investigate.

Inter-Con chief operating officer Lance Mueller said the investigation is still ongoing and the company hopes to wrap it up soon, but the company has very high standards for not accepting gifts.

"It's unacceptable," Mueller said in a telephone interview.

— AP