NEW BRITAIN - New Britain alum Jaylen Rivera will be staying local for college.
But before the two-sport athlete continues his career at Division-II Post University in Waterbury this will, he was awarded with the 2018 Osgood Shootout scholarship.
“It was a great opportunity to receive this award,” Rivera said. “It was some well needed money. Honestly, I’ve been waiting to get this scholarship. I’ve seen a couple of my friends receive it last year, it’s a great opportunity.”
The Osgood Shootout scholarship is handed out to six graduates every year.
“There is no real criteria,” said Darwin Shaw, the founder and director of the Osgood Shootout. “You must be involved in extracurricular activities and being an overall good student inside and outside of the classroom helps.”
While at New Britain High School, Rivera participated in sports every season - football in the fall, indoor track and field in the winter, along with outdoor track and field in the spring.
“I’ve had coach Shaw as a gym teacher and during the spring I had him as an assistant track coach,” Rivera said. “He would always help us out. I’ve always been around coach Shaw and I’m just grateful he gave me this scholarship.”
Rivera said the Osgood Shootout is a great event for the community and he enjoys coming to it every year.
“I don’t participate in the Osgood every year, but I come and I watch the games,” ” Rivera said. “It’s always a fun time watching the games. My favorite part is all the different teams that participate. Everyone’s dunking the ball, flying through the air, I just love the entertainment.”
But the Osgood Shootout isn’t just about basketball, it’s about bringing the community together.
“Honestly, it brings a lot of people together, especially with the food they have outside,” Rivera said. “A lot of people love the fish and fries. Sunday’s are usually the more pack day because it’s the championship round, everyone comes out. It’s a great opportunity. It’s just a great event to come and watch.”
In just a matter of days, he will be taking his athletic careers to the next level. During the fall he will be a part of Post’s sprint football team. There, he will be a defensive back and wearing the No. 15.
Post University is one out of nine other universities and colleges that offer spring football. During sprint football, players must maintain a weight of 178 pounds or less and have a minimum of five percent body fat to be eligible to play.
The end result of these weight restrictions is that, unlike conventional collegiate football which places a premium on body weight and strength, sprint football emphasizes speed and agility.
During the spring, he will be taking part in the Eagles’ track and field team.
In his senior season of outdoor track for the Hurricanes, the sprinter made the All-CCC team after a handful of top-10 finishes in the 100- and 200-meter dash.
He finished with one of the best seasons in New Britain history after moving into the top-10 in both events.
Although sports are at the top of Rivera’s list, so is education. While he is in school he will be study sports management.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Rivera said.