Preston Abdulla was determined to get himself into the collegiate baseball world before graduating from Sequoyah.

So much so that he considered stepping away from basketball to fully commit to the idea of extending his time on the diamond.

But when November rolled around, the then-senior had no offers on the table, so he elected to keep playing on the Chop House’s hardwood.

Midway through the season though, the offer he had been waiting and hoping for came through.

Abdulla signed with Roane State baseball on April 28.

“I liked the staff. They know what they want to do in the next few years to rebuild the program, making it a better program and I liked them. (Assistant coach) Garret (Dalton) has helped me in the past with a lot of fielding stuff and hitting wise,” Abdulla said. “I just knew if I went there I would continue to get better. I just felt like Roane State was the right place, so I decided to go there and not worry about any of the other schools.”

Abdulla is expected to reprise his role as a utility infielder as he was at Sequoyah, but could make appearances in the outfield as well. During his senior season, he batted with a .353 average, 19 RBIs, 30 hits and a home run.

Abdulla also totaled 42 putouts and was a part of five double plays.

“To play college baseball has been a goal that Preston has had before I ever met him and he has been working hard for the last four years to reach that goal,” Sequoyah baseball coach Josh Monhollen said. “It is exciting to see him have an opportunity to achieve his dream and to be able to continue to play.”

Before stepping into the red and white stripes for the Chiefs, Abdulla was prepared to step away from basketball a year early. However, he missed the game and decided to return to the court.

“I was planning on just not playing basketball so I could focus on baseball, but I just started to miss basketball,” Abdulla said. “I missed being out there with all my friends and coaches. I missed the culture over there.”

Abdulla was one of seven seniors on the Sequoyah basketball team that stayed with the sport and with former head coach Andy Pennington for all four years at the school.

For Monhollen, that process of developing different skillsets and coachability that comes with being involved in multiple sports has played a role in Abdulla getting his baseball acumen to collegiate expectations.

“Baseball certainly has a specific skill set that players need to spend time (working on) to be able to achieve a high level of play in the sport. I think any time a player can participate in multiple sports it is going to help them in all the sports that they play,” Monhollen said. “I am a huge fan of dual or even three- sport athletes. I think that each sport gives a chance for an athlete to learn from other coaches, be a better teammate and be a better overall athlete.

“I think it is a plus for him to be able to play multiple sports. I think it has helped him get to where he is now.”

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