UC Santa Barbara forward Sam Phippen, who was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 41st round of the Major League Baseball draft, is believed to be the only Division I athlete to play both basketball and baseball this season.
The 6-foot-9 Phippen earned that designation when he came out for baseball for the first time after playing sparingly as a junior on the basketball team, averaging 9.4 minutes in 22 games with the Big West champions.
By midseason, baseball coaches discovered Phippen could throw about 92-93 miles per hour and used him out of the bullpen in seven appearances, watching him compile a 7.71 ERA but show talent with a right arm that hadn't seen much action since high school.
Team communications director Matt Hurst, meanwhile, discovered upon sending out an e-mail to every Division I athletic department in the nation and receiving no responses that Phippen might very well be the only athlete to play both baseball and basketball this season.
Two other Division I college basketball players who were selected as pitchers in the draft -- Northern Iowa's Lucas O'Rear (13th round, Cincinnati Reds) and American's Stephen Lumpkins (42nd round, Pittsburgh Pirates) -- went to schools that did not have baseball programs.