By Ashley Bowden
Arts & Entertainment Editor
The point guard position is one of the most crucial roles on any basketball team, and sophomore criminal justice major, Jared Rivers, performed it outstandingly during this past season. Rivers scored 30 points against Roberts Wesleyan college on Feb. 25. “I was locked in, I was in the zone,” he said.
His efforts helped lead the team to victory with 86-80 points, and this propelled them to an ECC playoff game on their home court against Molloy College.
Rivers has had a fun experience during his two years on the men’s basketball team. His most memorable moments were joking around with his teammates and scoring his career high of 41 points in a game against Post University. The most rewarding part of the season was spending every day with his teammates; getting strong enough to advance to playoffs. “That was one of our targets; we accomplished that goal,” Rivers said. Having the home atmosphere of their own court and cheering fans was an advantage that helped keep up the team’s energy.
“I’m very aggressive and score great for myself and for my teammates,” Rivers said. According to him, he has an unselfish style of play, and his teammates are just as competitive as he is. Their success depends greatly on their teamwork, “I feel like when one person can pass, the whole team’s morale is boosted,” Rivers said.
“We get along great,” Austin Kennedy, freshman general business major, said, “I’ve played basketball forever, but this is one of the better teams of people I’ve gotten along with. We’re all like a family.” Both players consider keeping a sense of community within the team to be very important.
According to Kennedy, Rivers is one to lead by example. “He tries to lead us with his scoring, and he carries us on almost every game,” Kennedy said, “On off the court, he’s trying to help us, the younger guys, in certain situations.” Rivers has helped Kennedy to stay confident playing the point guard position. “It’s a big role for me to play as a freshman,” he said.
Playing at one’s best requires overcoming a number of obstacles, and for Rivers this was maintaining his grades while going to practice and class on a daily basis. As the season progressed, Rivers played more minutes on the court, typically up to 40. He found staying positive was a hurdle he had to overcome while playing for extended periods of time. “[I have to] stay hydrated and keep my body right and healthy,” Rivers said. “We faced a lot of challenges, everyone goes through adversity, individually and as a team,” Kennedy said. Though the team did not advance past playoffs, they maintained an optimistic perspective on their game play. “[We’ve] just got to keep striving and keep working,” Kennedy said.
As the top scorer, Rivers’ performance is a key element to the team’s victories. “It really does help us to the greatest extent, he’s always putting the ball in the basket,” Kennedy said, “He comes out every night and performs, and that’s just what we need from him.”
Rivers has been playing basketball since he was five years old, and it has had a significant impact on his life. “I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t play basketball. It means the world to me,” he said.