Hitting a homer—for basketball

Reece-photo-2Former minor league baseball player fuels hope of national title for the Greyhounds

Reece Cheatham was fresh out of Pike High School in Indianapolis when he was drafted to play baseball for the Chicago White Sox minor league affiliation. For the next four years, Reece played for four clubs, but was released in 2010 at the age of 22. He realized that he needed to have a degree and decided to discontinue his focus on minor league baseball and focus on school instead.

Fast-forward to 2014, where Reece is a senior sports management major and a standout on the UIndy’s men’s basketball team. Reece doesn’t mind being the oldest player on the team, and sees his teammates as brothers. “We’re all eye-to-eye and we have a good relationship,” he told the Indianapolis Star in February. I don’t have to babysit them as far as getting their job done and with off-the-court issues.”

The Greyhounds had one of their best seasons in history this year, under the leadership of coach Stan Gouard. The team fell short of their goal
to win the national championship, losing to Michigan Tech in the second round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional in March. However, Reece finished his UIndy career with 1,279 points, placing him in the top 20 scorers in UIndy history, and his 184 career 3-pointers ranked him fifth at the school. His performance during the tournament garnered him all-tournament honors, as voted on by the event’s media members.

As Reece wraps up his final basketball season and his time at UIndy, he is thinking about playing basketball in Europe, or using his degree to coach baseball or basketball. In the long-term, he sees himself as an athletic director or working in the front office for a professional team. But as far as returning to the minor leagues, Reece has no such plans.

“I do miss it,” he says, “and I enjoy following the people I played with as they make their way into the big leagues and fullfill their dreams. I know how tough the road is for them.” Reece has no regrets about making the decision to come to UIndy. “There has been a lot of success here in the past four years and it’s a great feeling to be a part of that.”

Read more about their season and the tournament at uindy.edu/athletics.