Christien Sager's goal is to play D-1 college basketball, so much so that entering his junior year he had to give up another sport he loved, baseball.
"I decided to play AAU (club basketball) in the summer, and with school and basketball, I think it would have been way too much playing baseball," Sager said.
After playing on a Rider baseball team that advanced to the regional finals in 2009, Sager watched as his teammates and friends advanced one step further, to the state semifinals, last year. He says that sparked his decision to return to the diamond.
"I think us getting to state tournament kind of fueled him to want to be back with this group and see if he could help out," Scot Green said.
Head coach Scot Green was of course, on board with Sager's decision to return. He calls Sager one of the most versatile players in the field and one of best contact hitters at the plate. That plate discipline helped Sager drive in the opening run in Rider's 3-1 state semifinal victory over top-ranked Brenham yesterday. The record-breaking win, Rider is set to make its first state championship appearance, adds to the bevy of reasons Sager is happy he chose to come back.
"Being with these guys again, they're great teammates and great friends," Sager said. "It's definitely an experience that if I didn't play, I would have regretted not having it."
The senior is now enjoying the best of both worlds. He'll be a preferred walk-on, meaning he has a roster spot with a chance at future scholarship money, at OKlahoma St. for basketball next season. But for now, he's focusing on the final game of his baseball career, the UIL Class 4A State Championship against Corpus Christi Calallen.