Jerry O’Brien was a three-sport standout at Bristol High who earned honorable mention All-State Class A honors in basketball in 1959. In the same year, he was chosen as the school’s Male Athlete of the Year. His basketball field goal percentage of .428 in his senior season is the school record.
He went on to play freshman basketball at Providence College, a team that was ranked No. 1 in New England and was recognized as one of the best teams in the nation. Following college, he won MVP honors in the Hartford Insurance League for three consecutive years and became the top scorer for the Terryville Oasis, one of the best semi-pro basketball teams in the state.
He played Senior League basketball at both the Bristol and Forestville Boys Clubs, where he earned several MVP awards. He was a member of several Bristol Slo-Pitch softball championship teams in playing for both the Italian Social Club and the Sportsman Cafe.