Aitken, Osorio Honored by County's Officials

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Pittsfield Public Schools Athletic Department is pleased to announce that the Berkshire County Board of Basketball Officials (IAABO Board No. 25) recently selected representatives from the city’s two public high schools as their annual sportsmanship award winners.
 
Taconic High School senior Javier Osorio has been selected to receive the 2018 Berkshire County Boys Basketball Sportsmanship Award, while Pittsfield High senior Bella Aitken has been selected to receive the 2018 Berkshire County Girls Basketball Sportsmanship Award.
 
The Berkshire County IAABO Board # 25 is part of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials – a non-profit professional and service organization focused on the education and training of basketball referees, promoting the welfare of the game of basketball, and encouraging the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship. The organization’s Sportsmanship Award winners are selected from nominations received from every Berkshire County high school basketball program.
 
The awards annually recognize student-athletes who consistently demonstrate good sportsmanship and ethical behavior in their daily participation in interscholastic athletics. The values of respect, caring, fairness, civility, honesty, integrity, and responsibility serve as the core criteria associated with the annual awards.
 
Osorio represents Taconic High School as a three-sport athlete - participating in football, basketball, and baseball.  The lone senior on the 2017-18 basketball squad, Osorio’s abilities on and off the court have lead a young Taconic team to an 11-7 record heading into the last week of the regular season.
 
His court awareness, leadership style, and work ethic are admired by his teammates, while his ability to create relationships, mentor other students, and represent Taconic with pride and class, are admired by teachers, coaches, referees, and fans. A member of the 2016-17 team that advanced to the Western Mass Finals last season, Osorio hopes to lead his team back to Curry Hicks Cage  this year.
 
Aitken is a four-year member of the Pittsfield High Generals basketball program - serving as one of the captains of the team with a current record of 12-5 heading into the last week of the regular season.
 
Aitken is closing in on the 1,000-point mark for her career, needing fewer than 60 points to hit that milestone. While known as a prolific scorer, her leadership traits and honorable approach to the game are on par with her offensive abilities. Aitken, a key member of the 2016-17 squad that won the Western Mass Championship last season, hopes to lead the Generals for a chance at back-to-back titles this year.
 
Both Osorio and Aitken are strong students in the classroom, extremely active in the community, and have goals of continuing their academic and athletic careers at the college level upon graduating from their respective high schools this spring. Both students have complemented their classroom and playing field experiences as participants in the Pittsfield Public Schools Athletic Department Leadership Academy, MIAA workshops, and community volunteer opportunities.
 
“Javy has had a huge influence on our team,” Taconic boys coach Bill Heaphy said. “He plays the game the right way - but more importantly, Javy is a gentleman.  He represents himself, his family, our team, and our school the right way.”
 
PHS girls coach Joe Racicot, echoes similar sentiments regarding Aitken. 
 
“Bella is a fierce competitor – but she doesn’t allow her competitive spirit to get in the way of her integrity or conduct”, Racicot said. “She holds herself to a high standard and takes pride in wearing the PHS uniform.”
 
Osorio and Aitken were selected for this honor by the Berkshire County Board of Basketball officials. The 2018 Sportsmanship Awards will be presented at the annual Berkshire County IAABO All-Star Game scheduled for Friday, March 16, at the Pittsfield Boys & Girls Club.
 
For more information about the IAABO, or the Berkshire County Sportsmanship Awards, contact Mark Alford (IAABO Board # 25 Secretary) at franchise036@gmail.com.
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