The Chicago Cubs officially drafted Charleston Southern University junior outfielder Chris Singleton on Wednesday, June 14, just one day shy of the two-year anniversary of his mother’s untimely death.
The Cubs, who finally won the World Series in 2016 after 108 years of futility, chose Singleton in the 19th round of the MLB’s amateur draft, the Chicago Tribune reported, making him the team’s 585th draft pick.
The star baseballer is the son of Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, who was one of nine victims brutally murdered at the hands of Dylann Roof in a racially motivated attack at a church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015. The 45-year-old high school track coach left behind Chris and his two younger siblings, Caleb and Camryn.
“With what’s happened, obviously there’s some national tragedy,” said Cubs vice president Jason McLeod, adding that he didn’t want the story of the murder of Singleton’s mother to overshadow the young man’s baseball talents. “The story is unavoidable for him.
“First and foremost, he’s a talented player on the field, and we had him evaluated really as almost like a top-10-caliber talent,” McLeod continued. “He is very athletic, a plus runner, a plus defender, a base stealer and played all three years at Charleston Southern and in the Collegiate Summer league last year.”
The celebratory news comes just after Singleton finished up his junior year at CSU, where he started all 51 games, recorded 18 steals and scored 38 runs, according to The Daily Beast.
It’s been two years since his mother’s passing, and things are finally starting to look up for the now-professional baseball player.
“If we just love the way my mom would,” Singleton said at his mom’s funeral, “then the hate won’t be nearly as strong as the love is.”