FORT GREENE — It’s an academic touchdown for one Brooklyn Tech football standout.
Engineers captain Benjamin Haye has been named a JPMorgan Chase Smart Start scholar, earning a full academic scholarship to New York University’s Stern School of Business and a paid internship with Chase.
“It means the world to me to know that you’ve worked so hard and your hard work has paid off,” Haye said. “It feels great knowing that my college education is paid for and I’m working toward my career after college.”
The senior lineman, who plans on majoring in finance at NYU and working at JPMorgan Chase after graduation, said he received a call last Wednesday that he won the prestigious scholarship after missing the initial call the night before.
“I felt relief knowing the burden was lifted off my shoulders,” said Haye, whose brother Nadaniel just graduated from Howard University.
The Flatbush resident is also the recipient of Brooklyn Tech's Adam J. Cirillo scholarship, which is named after the school’s former football coach and is worth $20,000.
A member of the All-State academic team, Haye was also awarded a $1,000 scholarship as one of 11 New York City football seniors at the Elite Eleven banquet by the New York chapter of the National Football Foundation and captured the Novelli Award at the team’s annual football dinner, which also included a $1,000 scholarship.
Haye, who has a 95 grade-point-average and scored 1,390 on the math and verbal sections of the SAT, started writing his essays for the Chase scholarship in November, in the midst of a stellar football season that saw Brooklyn Tech reach the PSAL Championship Division quarterfinals and finish with a 7-3 record.
“It is extremely difficult balancing [academics and athletics], but you learn to manage your time wisely,” Haye said.
Haye was a role model on and off the football field at the prestigious Brooklyn public high school, where he played offense and defense. A year after rushing for 112 yards as a fullback, Haye was asked to move to the offensive line because of some gaps, coach Kyle McKenna said.
“Football-wise, he did whatever was asked of him and he did it to the best of his abilities,” McKenna described. “He started every game and was one of our better linemen.”
Haye played offensive guard and defensive tackle and was a vocal leader on the team, providing motivational words before every game.
“He was definitely well-thought-of by his teammates,” McKenna said.
Haye said football was an integral part of his life both during the season and through the summer.
"I sacrificed countless hours during the school year and summers to make myself better and to make my team better," Haye said. "Playing football at Tech is a different experience than what you would get at a regular school. From Day One, it is instilled in us that we must take care of our school work before football is even brought into the equation."
Haye’s talents aren’t limited to the classroom and football field. As part of the Brooklyn Tech choir, Haye sang at Carnegie Hall last February and is appearing in the school’s production of “Kiss Me Kate.”
“Certain guys have the time management skills to achieve academically at a high level,” McKenna said. “He’s done that from Day One. He has the ability to do a lot of things because of his unbelievable time management and his ability to prioritize.”
Although he’s played his last high school football game, Haye is far from done with the Brooklyn Tech program. Along with his fellow graduating seniors, Haye has been in the weight room — like several alums before him — helping mentor younger players to ensure they continue where his class left off.
“He’s definitely one of those guys I’m going to miss,” McKenna said. “But his legacy lives on in the people he’s inspired along the way.”