Travis Lakins has just started introducing himself to Boston sports fans. His familiarity with Boston's chief basketball coach, however, dates back to seven years ago.
As it turns out, Brad Stevens wanted Lakins on his team well before the Red Sox ever came into the picture.
Along with his baseball exploits, Lakins was a star guard for Franklin (OH) High, where he teamed with current Detroit Piston Luke Kennard. While it was clear baseball was going to be a priority, some schools were ready to present the option to play both sports. The highest-profile program to present a scholarship offer to become a dual-sport college athlete? Stevens' Butler Bulldogs.
"They offered me to play basketball and baseball," Lakins said of Butler. "That was pretty cool. ... I'm a big fan of basketball so it was pretty cool (Stevens) recruited me to play. Now it's great watching what he's doing in the NBA."
Even if Lakins committed to play at Butler, he wouldn't have had Stevens as his coach. The Indiana native bolted for the Celtics two months after the Bulldogs' 2013 season.
The other top tier Div. 1 program to present Lakins with the chance to play hoop was North Carolina State, who had one of its coaches present an offer to fill one of the walk-on spots immediately after watching Lakins win the 3-point shooting contest at the Beach Ball Classic (hitting 33 of 45 shots).