Dhane Smith has been a prominent feature in Lax All Stars coverage for the last week and two weeks ago as we looked into his history in lacrosse, his experience in Buffalo, his multisport lifestyle and more. To wrap up two total weeks of Dhane Smith mania, we’ve put it all in one place for you to easily navigate.
‘I Belong Here’ Says Dhane Smith, First Black NLL MVP
To kick off our reporting, we helped introduce Smith by resurfacing an important and thorough piece originally from Signature Lacrosse in July that explained Smith’s actions to combat racism and minority issues within lacrosse. It explained the purpose behind Smith’s “I Belong Here” campaign and his own personal stories dealing with racism in the sport.
“The mission for the ‘I Belong Here’ campaign is simple; educate the lacrosse community about the challenges still faced by lacrosse players and coaches of color today while creating loyal allies willing to support inclusion in lacrosse.”
Dhane Smith Turns Malice to Motivation, a Black Athlete Succeeding in White Crowds
Smith opened up about his experience with racism in sports this summer on social media, and he has championed an inclusive and positive attitude for lacrosse to be for everyone. Being Black in lacrosse and other white-dominated spaces has been a challenge for Smith at times in his life, especially growing up, but through it all, he kept with his craft and promised to himself that he would prove the bigots wrong.
Learn about how he turned that malice into motivation.
“It’s very important. You can’t focus on all the positives. There are going to be negatives throughout your life. It’s how you overcome those things.”
Multisport Family Molded Dhane Smith into Lacrosse All-Star
Smith has always played several sports, and it’s in his blood. There are a number of sports that run in his family, and without competing in athletics other than lacrosse, Smith doesn’t think he would be where he is.
“Being a multisport athlete helps you think and understand differently. That’s why I am where I am today. I’ve played so many different sports, I wasn’t able to get sick of it.”
Born for the Bandits – Thank You, Buffalo
In his own words, Smith described his devotion and appreciation for Buffalo and the Bandits, his professional box lacrosse home since the 2012 NLL Draft and boyhood team. He grew up admiring the Bandits while watching his cousin Billy Dee Smith make a name for himself with the franchise, and he’s been living the dream ever since draft day.
“Then it happened. My name was called. I was in shock. That shock shifted to joy.”
Kitchener Lacrosse Great Carl Becker Is Fighting Cancer
Smith’s hometown of Kitchener, Ontario, has a rich lacrosse history, and Carl Becker is in part responsible. He was important to two Founders Cups wins in 1987 and 1988 with the Kitchener-Waterloo Braves, the same Jr. A program Smith grew up in. He went on to win the Mann Cup in 1993 and the Presidents Cup in 2003 with the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks.
A couple months ago, Becker was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and pituitary adenoma. His family and friends launched a Go Fund Me to help cover expenses, and have greatly surpassed their original goal by more than double.
Dhane Smith Embraces Golf & Tennis in Lacrosse Hiatus
When it isn’t lacrosse season, Smith still needs an athletic outlet. Over the last few years, golf has become one of his go-to extracurricular activities, and during the pandemic, tennis has fit in nicely as a socially-distant competitive opportunity. He’s been converting his Bandits roommates – Josh Byrne, Ian McKay, and Chris Cloutier – who are all already golfers, into bigger tennis players.
“I’m kind of changing them into tennis players as well, We get competitive when we play a lot.”
Next week, we shift our focus back to Jeff Shattler, with features on his life in quarantine, his massive love for snowboarding and more. You can find some of the content from the Jeff Shattler Week #1 here.