James Cooper has turned pro.
Cooper, the quarterback on Santa Monica High’s 2001 CIF championship football team and a three-year baseball starter at Loyola Marymount, signed with the New York Yankees, who recently selected him in the ninth round of the baseball draft.
Cooper, an outfielder, was assigned to the Staten Island Yankees. In his first professional game he went one-for-five and had an RBI.
Cooper batted .358 this season as a junior at Loyola Marymount and was told by scouts he’d likely be selected in the first 10 rounds. It is common for players in that category to sign and forego their final year of college eligibility, but Cooper is expected to attend classes to obtain his degree.Cooper was the fifth-leading batter in the West Coast Conference.