Action Sports Spotlight - Philly Connection

By Brendan O'Reilly

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 28, 2009 at 1:05 AM EDT

One's a dominant scoring machine, making a name for himself in his first year as a Bearcat.
This one's a 6-foot-9 bruiser manning the middle for the Orange.
And this one started 10 games last year as an SU freshman.
Three different paths to college, but one special bond.
"We were like family, brothers, that's what I would say."
Syracuse guard Scoop Jardine says, "Since, like, eighth grade, we all played on the same AAU team, traveled together, slept in the same house, everything."
Rick Jackson says, "I did a lot of things with him. I mean, me and him we're just real close."
D.J. Rivera, Rick Jackson and Scoop Jardine grew up in Philadelphia and played high school ball at powerhouse Neumann-Goretti.
The trio captured back-to-back Catholic League championships.
Jackson and Jardine were a year behind Rivera and always looked up to the school's all-time leading scorer.
"If we needed a bucket or something like that, we'd go to him. I mean, he was the, he was the anchor."
The Bearcats DJ Rivera says, "I think he fed off that. He was a competitive guy too also so I guess we just made each other better every day in practice, all of us."
"D.J. was just so competitive that he would never let us lose even if he had to run through a wall."
Rivera started his college career in Philadelphia at St. Joseph's before transferring this year to BU.
Although the childhood buddies don't see each other as much as they used to, they still share a special friendship.
"I'm a fan of their's. I always check up on their stats. I see Rick's doing real well. Like I said, they're my brothers and I always have to watch out for them."
"I'm very happy for him. I'm happy for his family because I know how hard D.J. works to afford the show and now that it's paying off, it's a blessing so I'm happy for him."
Justin Horowitz, Action Sports.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.