As Lee Solomon neared the end of his senior season for the Lipscomb University baseball team, he pondered his future.
The 2014 Columbus Academy graduate had been accepted into the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State and was set to pursue a doctorate degree.
But on June 6, those plans were put on hold, as Solomon was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 25th round (741st overall) of the Major League Baseball draft, presenting him with an opportunity to fulfill his childhood dream.
"It's a surreal moment, for sure," said Solomon, a second baseman who graduated from Lipscomb -- located in Nashville, Tennessee -- with a bachelor's degree in law, justice and society. "Everyone dreams of a day they can play professional sports, and to get that call is something special."
On June 10, Solomon reported to the Padres' minor league facility in Peoria, Arizona, where he planned to sign his first pro contract. The 21-year-old expects to begin playing at the rookie-ball level this summer.
"I want to play for as long as I can," said Solomon, a native of Gahanna. "I want to be a great player. I'm willing to just grind and enjoy the process while I can. I'm excited about it. It's going to be fun."
This spring with Lipscomb, Solomon batted .286 with eight home runs, nine doubles, 25 RBI, a team-high 39 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 37 starts despite missing nearly a month of the season with a left hand injury. He earned second-team All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors for the second time in his career.
The 30th player in Lipscomb history to be taken in the MLB draft, Solomon ranks second in program history in stolen bases (64), fourth in runs (135) and walks (88), fifth in on-base percentage (.414) and doubles (37), sixth in triples (6), seventh in RBI (102) and eighth in total bases (262).
"Lee is one of the finest young men that I have coached," Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. "He represents Lipscomb and everything about it. He is a dynamic player that will have a great professional career on and off the field."
Solomon capped his career at Academy by being named MSL-Ohio Division Player of the Year and first-team all-district after helping the Vikings reach the Division III district final, where they lost to Fredericktown 3-0. As a senior for the Vikings, he hit .449 with 18 stolen bases, 16 RBI and three home runs.
"Lee is a natural leader," said former Academy coach Jim Collis, who stepped down after Solomon's senior year.
"It doesn't surprise me that Lee made it to the level he is at. Always someone who others rallied around. Besides being a great kid, he's a person that his teammates could always count on."
"I will always have a love for Academy," Solomon said. "They treat me well whenever I go back there and treated me well while I was there, so I always had to be a Viking."