There aren’t many college basketball players who are also excelling at another sport at present time, but one who can make such a claim is Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton. Last season the 6-foot-5 Connaughton posted averages of 13.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, finishing the year ranked second on the team in both rebounds and assists.
In addition to playing basketball Connaughton is a also a member of the Notre Dame baseball team. This past spring he made ten appearances for the Fighting Irish, posting a record of 3-5 with a 3.92 ERA. Prior to the start of the season Baseball America rated Connaughton as the sixth-best prospect in the ACC, and on Friday his name was called during the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Connaughton was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 121st pick in the Draft (fourth round), and according to MLB.com’s scouting report on Connaughton he was considered to be the best two-sport college athlete in this year’s draft.
With Connaughton being drafted some may wonder if he’s considering leaving the basketball program early to begin his professional baseball career. However it was reported last week by Irish Illustrated that he’ll be back for his senior season, and it’s something Connaughton really wants to do.
“There are some teams that aren’t willing to negotiate something like that,” said Connaughton of his desire to play a couple months of professional baseball this summer, return to Notre Dame in time for its August basketball trip to Italy, and then participate in Notre Dame’s 2014-15 basketball campaign.
In addition to wanting to finish his playing career on the basketball court, Connaughton is just 15 credits shy of completing his degree.