Jalen Echevarria is an All-Scholastic basketball player who will score his 1,000th career point next month. He played in the TD Garden as a freshman on a state champion St. Mary’s team coached by his uncle, David Brown.
Echevarria is currently displaying his athletic talent in football, a sport he had played through the eighth grade. Echevarria scored a touchdown on a double handoff from George Freeman and caught a 25-yard pass from Derek O’Leary for a crucial first down to set up another score in the fourth quarter.
“I can’t believe we’re going to the Super Bowl,” Echevarria told reporters after his team’s 22-11 victory over Cohasset at Hormel Stadium in Medford. “It’s a very special moment for my teammates and me. This is definitely at the top of my list [of career achievements]. My first year playing football, making it to Gillette, it’s a special moment.”
What made Jalen decide to put on the football pads once again?
“Coach Brown was a big influence,” said Echevarria. “He encouraged me to play this season and I just did it.”
St. Mary’s head coach Sean Driscoll is very happy that things have worked out so well for the talented, 5-foot-8-inch, 140-pound senior.
“I met Jalen for the first time in the summer, just before we started pre-season camp,” said Driscoll. “I knew he was a great basketball player and a great athlete at whatever he does. Coach Brown and his family were part of his decision to play football and I think they saw the ability he has, and Jalen has had a great year. He’s been very explosive.”
The speed and dexterity that Echevarria exhibits on the basketball court have been on display on the football field.
“I’m more of the outside guy and George [Freeman] is the ground-and-pound guy,” said Echevarria. “I’m grateful to my offensive line. I love those guys. They never take a play off.”
Did he think a trip to the Super Bowl was possible when he resumed his football career after a multi-year hiatus?
“To be honest, I didn’t think we were going to come this far,” said Echevarria. “Losing the guys from last year – nobody thought we could accomplish this – it’s unbelievable.”
His entrance in to the St. Mary’s Hall of Fame a virtual lock in basketball, Jalen Echevarria now seeks to enter one day as a member of a Super Bowl state championship team. Only Blackstone Valley stands in the path of that massive dual honor.