From Press staff reports
Bridgeton High School’s Braheme Days Jr. once again tops the U.S. high school world in the shot put, and now he’s ready for the next step.
Days has signed a national letter of intent and will attend UCLA on a full athletic scholarship for men’s track and field.
Days’ shot put throw of 69 feet Jan. 24 at the Bennett Center in Toms River is the No. 1 scholastic distance for the event this indoor season, according to milesplit.com, a website that follows the sport around the nation. He also topped the U.S. high school shot putters in the outdoor season last spring with a toss of 68-81/2.
Days could not be reached for comment.
“In the whole process, I think UCLA was his first choice, but they kind of fell off the radar when he visited other colleges,” Bridgeton coach Warren DeShields said. “Then UCLA was his last visit, and that’s what pushed him over the edge. I’m happy for him that he’s going there. He’ll fit perfectly into the California lifestyle. It’s a great place to further his career in track and field, and education-wise.”
Days, an 18-year-old Bridgeton resident, won the South Jersey Group II indoor shot put championship on Feb. 7 at the Bennett Center with a toss of 68-8.
He won the Group II state and South Jersey Group II shot put and the discus titles in the 2012 outdoor season but missed the Meet of Champions with a knee injury. His state title-winning discus throw was 170-2. During that season, he won the shot put title at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, only the seventh area athlete to win a title in the 118 years of the prestigious event.
Days won the indoor Eastern States Championship last winter in the shot put with a distance of 70-8, the nation’s top high school throw.
Days also visited the University of Florida, LSU and Cal-Berkeley, DeShields said. Days signed with UCLA last weekend.
“Braheme is a great fit for our program,” said Mike Maynard, the UCLA Director of Track and Field, on the school’s Web Site. “He’s very bright and a total student of the throwing events. He seemed like a member of the team from the time he stepped on campus. I believe he adds an immediate and added NCAA scoring potential to an already strong throws squad.”