City Holds Successful 21st Annual Osgood Shootout
It doesn’t get any bigger or better in New Britain than the 21st Annual Osgood Shootout.
Last weekend crowds came out to view a few hoop stars as well as a few homegrown talents.
“This is about giving out scholarships,” said Darwin Shaw, who began the tournament. “So far we have given out 47 scholarships for local kids.”
Players from all over came this year including several NBA players like Jared Sullinger (Boston Celtics), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats) and Andreas Sandoval (Boston Celtics).
Walker stepped in as a coach as he couldn’t play, but the crowd enjoyed watching the star.
There is a high school division of 16 teams and an open division of 16 teams as well as women’s divisions. Connecticut Sun representative Nykesha Sales was among the 330 players that participated on Sunday.
“We always have a great crowd,” said Shaw. “The tournament has been a blessing. The real winners are the scholarship winners.”
This year three were given $500 scholarships while in the past two were given out each year.
Winners were Basil Nicchols, Faith Ford and Daquone Clark.
Niccholls Jr. is the son of Cheryl Clinkscale Nicchols and Basil Nicchols Sr. He is a recent graduate of NBHS and has achieved academic honors in boy’s varsity track and field. He also was an All New England athletes and a 2013 Class LL State Champion. He will be going to Howard University in Washington DC to pursue track and study broadcast journalism.
Ford is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lonnie Ford and graduated NBHS in 2013. She was a four year member of the girl’s volleyball and basketball teams. She was an all conference and an all state performer. She will be going to Southern Connecticut State University to play volleyball and major in social work.
Clark is the son Tracy Clark. He graduated in 2013 and played football and basketball and was all conference in both. He also was a track and field member finishing 4th in the New England Championships in high jump. He jumped 6’7”. He is going to Monroe College in New York and will participate in football and track and study human resources.
“I was fortunate to have people in front of me who did positive stuff,” said Shaw. “Now that I am in a position at the high school to do stuff I continued it.”
The five major sponsors were Eblens Clothing and Footwear, Roma’s Sports Bar and Grill, Image Ink, Stanley Black and Decker and Hoops for Heart Health.
Shaw started the event at Osgood Park to give back to the community.
The first ever big name player to hit the Osgood pavement was Marcus Camby, who starred at Hartford Public High before playing at UMass and subsequently the NBA.
Once Camby got involved, others joined.
But, weather became a factor as rain often caused cancellations. Soon, the high school became the site of the event.
“Once we took it inside, we couldn’t go back outside,” said Shaw.
The tournament’s credibility has continued to surge. Past players have included former Indiana University All-American (1989) and one-time Los Angeles Clipper Jay Edwards. Former University of Texas center James Thomas, a native of Schenectady, N.Y., who played for four NBA teams, also paid a visit. So did New Haven native Tharon Mayes, who went on to play at Florida State and had a brief stint with the Philadelphia 76ers and Clippers.