Family members reflect on deceased soccer player Singh’s life


Jay Balwant Singh Jr. was born in San Bruno, Calif. to parents Nita and Jay Singh. Not only a first child, Jay was the much adored first grandson to carry on the Singh lineage on his father’s side. He also had a younger brother, Jason.

Jay grew up in the tender loving care of his paternal grandparents. He attended elementary school at the Church of the Highlands Christian School, where he completed his seventh grade. He transferred to Parkside Intermediate School in 2000 and then joined Junipero Serra Catholic High School, where he also played basketball and football. After graduating there in 2005, he started at Loyola Marymont University in Los Angeles in August 2005. He finished his sophomore year there and transferred to Cal State Northridge in July 2007.

Jay’s career in competitive soccer commenced very early in life when he was barely eight years old. He played his first games for Yellow Jacket Team within AYSO, American Youth Soccer Organization. Tom Needam, his very first soccer coach, once remarked that this young boy had a great potential to play professional soccer if he continued with his style of playing that included meticulous dribbling techniques.

In 1998, at a very tender age of 11, he had the privilege of playing in Belgium. Jay was selected as a result of scoring the most goals in his age group that year out of all the players who played within the AYSO games.

Jay had exceptional potential, which led him to bigger and better goals that resulted in a track record of many awards and achievements. He was selected for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) as early as 13. From 2001-003, he played in the Northern California State, as well as the Regional Team. He played in the regional tournaments that included games in Arco Arena, Costa Rica and Las Vegas. The only jobs he undertook were during summer vacations as a coach for Youth Soccer camps in the San Francisco Bay area.

In 2003, Jay also played for San Jose Pumas Club Team in State Cup and the Super Y-League with Fremont Fury. The same year, he was selected in the U17 National Team that played in the Dallas Cup and the All-American Team Tournament held in Holland and Germany. He also played in the U16 Men’s U.S. National Team, which played in Mexico and later in England in the U17, where he made the famous, and his favourite, goal against Brazil.

Jay was one of those elite soccer players who earned the full scholarship to U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program at IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton, Fla. This is the same institution that has nurtured professional players such as Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Santino Quaranta and Eddie Johnson.

Jay was one of those rare players who could play with both his feet. How could he do that? His mum recalls that during his early years, he had once injured his right foot and was so determined not to miss out on his competitive matches that he started using his left foot and quickly realized that playing with his left foot was no different to playing with his right foot. He could play any position with ease because of this gift, which included playing midfield, forward, or defensive positions. Gerry Genovese, CBSA scouting consultant, had put on record that “Jay is a joy to watch, very fluid, like silk. Jay has always been playing up in age and excelling. For his age, he is one of the finest players in the States.”

Jay’s love for the game was initiated by his father, who was not only his first coach, but remained his mentor throughout his life. His father, Jay Singh Sr., who was an ardent soccer player in his time, played competitive soccer in Fiji.

Besides his soccer achievements, Jay was pursuing a career in Business and Sociology. He planned to work in San Francisco after getting his degree.

Jay was one of those unique people who was blessed with the ability to touch many hearts. He was a very gentle, caring, loving and kind person who always walked with a smile on his face and had the gift of making others around him happy. He will be sorely missed by all his family, friends and anyone else who had been touched by his kind soul.

The Singh Family.

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