The Chicago Cubs used their 19th-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft to select Chris Singleton, the Charleston Southern outfielder whose mother was one the victims in the Charleston, S.C. mass killings at Emanuel African Methodist Church in 2015.
The selection came almost two years to the day of the tragedy that saw nine people killed and three wounded by a white supremacist.
Singleton's mom, Sharona Coleman Singleton was one of those killed on June 17, 2015.
"It felt like one of my own kids was drafted," Stuart Lake, Singleton's former coach at Charleston Southern. told the postandcourier.com.
"I'm so proud and happy for Chris. He and I have gone through so much together. We talked today and he thanked me for giving him a chance. But I've got a whole lot more to thank him for. He'll always be a part of me and my family just as a person."
Singletonhit .276 with four home runs for Charleston Southern as a juniorafter a sophomore season where he batted .332 with four home runs and 34 RBIs.
Singleton becomes the first CSU player taken in the MLB Draft this season and first since 2015 when left-handed pitcher Andrew Tomasovich was taken in the 21st round by the Oakland Athletics.
Singleton started all 51 games for head coach Adam Ward and was a fixture in the middle of the CSU lineup in the 2017 season. Singleton finished the year among the Big South leaders in stolen bases with 18, while also finishing among the CSU leaders in runs scored (38), doubles (10), and home runs (4). He showcased his tool set in the outfield with the junior sitting among the nation's leaders with 10 outfield assists in 2017.
"From the moment everything happened with his mom, baseball was an escape for him," Lake said. "It was something we talked about a lot: Use it the right way, but always let baseball be fun.
Singleton also is the lone parental figure for his younger siblings, Camryn and Caleb.