As a basketball player at the UA, he was best known for his speed and vision on the court, setting a new UA record in his sophomore year with 55 steals in one season and averaging one steal every ten minutes in his junior year. he played a key role in the 1988 Final Four team and the 1989 Sweet Sixteen team. In 1988, after a several year layoff from the sport, he played briefly with the UA baseball team and promptly caught the attention of professional scouts. He was drafted by the Houston Astros and, at the time of induction, was leadoff better and centerfielder for the Cleveland Indians. As a professional baseball player, he was the 1993 runner-up in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, and won the 1993 and 1994 Gold Glove as the league's outstanding defensive outfielder, led the league in stolen bases in 1993 and 1994, and was selected to the 1994 and 1995 American League All-Star Teams.