Bassett-Kennedy ‘volunteers’ to play at Tennessee


At 6 feet 6 inches, Sam Bassett-Kennedy stands out from the crowd. The lefty first swung a bat at the age of five. When asked how he got his start in baseball, he said “My mom signed me up for a handful of sports when I was younger and baseball was the one.” 

His first experience playing ball at a competitive level was when he was eight, he played on a travel team. “We were cold” Sam stated. Sam gained serious potential in his first few years of playing the sport at the travel level. “Right before my freshman year of high school was when I first got in contact with college coaches and they expressed interest.” The first of many colleges to contact Sam was Michigan State University. He said they would ring his phone daily with a scholarship offer awaiting him. Sam wanted to explore his options by entering competitions in the south. “Playing down south gave me exposure within the South Eastern Conference (SEC).” Sam competed in various tournaments and showcases in hopes of impressing as many coaches as possible.

Sam hopes to find the same success as he did at the travel ball level while representing his high school team, Pioneer. However, due to the new MHSAA transfer rule, Sam may not be able to play baseball this year as a pioneer. The rule makes it so that a student athlete cannot compete in the same sport after transferring schools. This rule was made to prevent high school athletic recruiting and an imbalance in talent between schools. As Sam played for Detroit Country Day last year he is currently ineligible to play the same sport, baseball, at Pioneer. 

Thankfully, Sam B-K already has a future secured beyond high school ball. He has verbally committed to the University of Tennessee to continue his athletic and academic career. His reasoning included, “The coaching staff is friendly and successful. It is still close to home but a lot warmer. I really enjoy the competition in the south, and it was all in all the best offer I received.” Sam received offers from other top schools including Vanderbilt, the 2019 College World Series Champions. 

Sam recognizes all of the work and sacrifices his family has made in order for him to get to where he is now. His mother said, “When I heard the news about Sam being offered to play baseball at Tennessee it was the greatest day! Everything Sam has worked so hard for was coming true. A great school academically and a part of the SEC!”