EDITOR’S NOTE: Lacrosse All Stars is proud to be a partner of the Give & Go Foundation. Co-founders Adam Ghitelman and Scott Ratliff will be profiled today on our website. Look for future content coming from each of these lacrosse greats!
The mission of the Give & Go Foundation is to “provide free lacrosse education and equipment donation for underserved lacrosse programs worldwide,” according to the Give & Go Foundation website.
It was founded on the belief that lacrosse, specifically organized lacrosse teams, “have the power to heal and help lacrosse communities grow closer together.”
The program features international clinics, coaching abroad and personal development programs and gear and equipment donations.
We wanted to know more about Give & Go co-founders Adam Ghitelman and Scott Ratliff, so we interviewed each of them with some questions about their involvement in lacrosse, and what their vision is for the Give & Go Foundation.
Today, we are sitting down with Adam Ghitelman, who was a lacrosse great at the University of Virginia, where he won the 2011 National Championship, and has since played professionally in the Major League Lacrosse. He currently has committed to play in the Premier Lacrosse League beginning next season. He also coaches for the University of Utah Men’s Lacrosse team, who are entering their first season in NCAA Division I lacrosse.
Below is the full transcript of our interview:
Lacrosse All Stars: What is your age?
Adam Ghitelman: 29 years young
LAS: Where do you currently live?
AG: Park City, UT
LAS: Please describe the state of lacrosse in your area.
AG: Growing rapidly! In the past year, the state of Utah has increased participation, added NCAA Division I lacrosse at the University of Utah and high school lacrosse will be sanctioned in the spring of 2020.
LAS: What else do you like to do? (Work, hobbies, etc.)
AG: Snowboard, read, yoga, hiking, adventure/travel, volunteer, play with my puppy.
LAS: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
AG: Long Island Egg Sandwich: 2 Eggs Over Easy, Bacon, American, Salt, Pepper, Hot Sauce
LAS: What has been your history in lacrosse? (i.e. How did you start, where
have you been since then, etc.)
AG: I started playing lacrosse in the fifth grade. A group of my friends got me involved and I fell in love with the game right away. Since then, I was lucky enough to play for great coaches throughout my career; in high school at Cold Spring Harbor, collegiately at the University of Virginia, and have since played eight years in Major League Lacrosse. I’ve coached lacrosse since high school, and after graduation started my coaching career at Harvard University. After moving on from Harvard, I spent a year coaching lacrosse in California, and now am an assistant coach at the University of Utah.
LAS: How are you currently involved in lacrosse? (Player, coach, etc.)
AG: Player, Premier Lacrosse League; Coach, Assistant Coach at University of Utah; Co-Founder, The Give & Go Foundation
LAS: What have you done to grow the sport in your current area?
AG: Coached and mentored hundreds of young local players, influenced the adoption of Division I lacrosse at the University of Utah.
LAS: What is the biggest obstacle for the growth of lacrosse in your area?
AG: Indoor Field Space.
LAS: What has been your biggest accomplishment when it comes to growing the game?
AG: Founding the Give & Go Foundation. Traveling to over 10 countries worldwide to teach the game and donate equipment to programs.
LAS: What inspires you about lacrosse the most?
AG: The spirit of the game, the community, the passion for the sport. I love the creativity and spontaneity of the game: every play is different.
LAS: Do you have a favorite lacrosse team? Favorite player(s)? Please tell
us who and why.
AG: The 1998 USA Men’s National Team. They were filled to the brim with great players that influenced me to fall in love with the game. Millon, LoCascio, Powell, and Hubbard all influenced me as a young player.
LAS: If you could change one thing about our sport, what would it be and why?
AG: Faceoffs — turn it into lacrosse’s version of a puck drop. The game was not created to be stagnant, and the faceoff stalls the flow of the game. Puck Drops will automatically create and add 10+ more 50/50 ground ball opportunities, arguable the most exciting part of the game.
LAS: What lessons and skills have you learned from the game of lacrosse?
AG:Trust, teamwork, discipline, creativity, resilience, toughness, the importance of giving back.
LAS: Why should someone take up the sport of lacrosse?
AG: The speed, the fluidity, the creativity. The game combines the factors of many of the world’s top sports. The game is unique in that it has such a rich history and tradition unlike any other.
LAS: What is your greatest lacrosse memory?
AG: Winning the 2011 National Championship at the University of Virginia.
LAS: Where is the coolest place that you have traveled to play or coach lacrosse?
AG: Wow! Tough to describe how lucky I’ve been in traveling and playing the game. I’ve been all over the states coaching, playing and spreading the game. I’ve traveled to over 10 countries since the beginning of our passion to spread the game of lacrosse: Argentina, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Jamaica, Holland, Nicaragua, Spain, Portugal, Canada, and the Hawaiian Islands. Every country has its own unique culture, experiences, and beauty.
LAS: What is your vision for the Give and Go Foundation?
AG: We hope to continue doing what we can to support the growth of lacrosse in an authentic, genuine fashion. We began this journey on our desire for adventure, to explore the world and pass along our great game to people and players along the way. My vision for the Give & Go foundation is that it empowers lacrosse players all over the world to share our great sport, to reveal the values and the lessons that this game teaches and represents and to ultimately make the world a better place through a connected and inspired community of lacrosse players. We believe that our work can transcend the field and provide confidence and passion to people lives. We hope to inspire our peers, great lacrosse ambassadors, to combine their love for travel and lacrosse and utilize opportunities to connect with programs to teach and provide support for the growth of the game.