Jamaica Diaspora 20 under 40: Tajay Higgins: The Baller

The Baller

Tajay Higgins 25, who was born in Jamaica and recently made South Florida his home, contributes sports, and soccer in particular, as the engine that has promulgated him from a tough community in St. James, Jamaica to be close to attaining a master’s degree at St. Thomas University in North Miami, and a career in sports administration.

Tajay said he owes everything in his young life to soccer, a game he loves passionately. “Soccer has enabled me, through scholarships to come to the US where I successfully pursued and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and pursue the master’s degree. Sports is such a positive influence. It has taught me discipline, time management and has other positive influences on my life.”

He said he can’t remember when he didn’t love soccer. “I played the game almost daily growing up and always saw soccer in his future.” He said playing for the Herbert Morrison Technical High School in Montego Bay, and the St. Elizabeth Technical High School 2009 Dacosta Cup Championship team, he had dreams of advancing his soccer career as a talented defender (center back), but fate stepped in. “Last year I experienced a very serious knee injury, which took me out of the game. This made me rethink my future, leading me to focus on a career in sports administration rather than as a soccer player. While I may be able to play soccer again after completing therapy on the knee, there’s no guarantee how effective ‘ll be able to play. I can however gain substantially, and make great contributions, especially to the youth here in the US and in Jamaica, in sports management.”

December 2016 is Higgins target date to graduate with his advanced degree. He says he plans to take a year off from his other goal to pursue a doctoral degree, and finalize the course and exams to obtain his coaching license. He is currently the coach of Hochberg Preparatory School soccer team in Miami and the Miami Lakes Soccer Club. However, his ambition is to also coach more advanced teams. The Hochberg team won the Jewish League Championship in May.

One of his long term goals is to one day develop and own his own soccer team. In the meantime he plans on remaining in the US after graduation and use his qualification in sport administration to build soccer to be a major sport. Tajay is passionate in his belief that sports has the potential for the positive development of youth. “Look where sports took me. It takes great effort and commitment, put sports can bring a lots of benefit in one’s life.”

He says through sport in Jamaica, the US, including his part-time job in the sports department of St. Thomas University he has met several outstanding sports personalities who have a positive influence on his life. “I firmly believe a lot more can be done for the youth through soccer, or any other sport, to enable them to live better and more productive lives. There are many positive influences in sports.”

According to Tajay who struggled economically as a youth in Jamaica, this aspect of his Jamaican heritage gave him a special drive to succeed. “As a Jamaican, like most Jamaicans, I believe there are  alternative path to reaching my goal. Soccer is my chosen path to success.”

Reiterating his gratitude for the opportunities soccer presented him, Taye advises the youth saying “When you work hard for something like I did in playing soccer,  you really cherish what you have gained.”

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