Baseball player Chris Singleton has been drafted by the Chicago Cubs two years after his mother was murdered during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Singleton, 20, was drafted by the Cubs in the 19th round last week. When the news broke, he took to social media to glorify God for the honor.
"I got down on my knees this morning ... God was listening," he wrote on Instagram. "You already know who this is for. #CantLetMomsDown #RIPDad."
Singleton's mother, the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, was among nine people killed at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015, in a racially motivated murder committed by white gunman Dylann Roof. While the Chicago Cubs are aware of his heartbreaking story, it was his talent on the baseball field that drew their interest in Singleton.
"We certainly understand and have deep sympathy for his backstory, but what I want to make sure doesn't get lost is that this guy's a really good baseball player," Jason McLeod, the Cubs' senior vice president of scouting and player development, told reporters. "We had him evaluated really as a top-10-round-caliber talent,"
Singleton gained national attention as one of the top leaders with 10 assists at The Charleston Southern University where he started 51 games this year as a junior center fielder started, the university said. As he was being drafted into the Cubs, McLeod mentioned Singleton's faith along with his positive traits that will benefit the team.
"He's a very mature young man. His faith and religion are priorities in his life," McCleod said in a statement. "We're really looking forward to getting (Singleton) into the organization."