Team number 7 for the upcoming LASNAI is a HUGE announcement because it’s the FIRST time that this country will not only play box lacrosse, but the FIRST time they will play any sort of international lacrosse!
Who could I possibly be talking about?
Yes, that’s right. Team Jamaica is coming to play box lacrosse in our tournament.
Let me say that again… The JLA is sending a diaspora team to play box lacrosse in our tournament!
Lacrosse has been played in Jamaica for a number of years now, and while the development effort on the island nation has been focused on a bottom-up, kids-first approach, there are some older players engaged with the sport, and high school kids are playing more and more. There is even a HS championship called the Taino Cup!
On top of all that impressive work at home, Jamaica also has a number of heritage players, or guys who moved to the US or Canada (like Hakeem Lecky) and played lacrosse growing up. Some played at a very high level, but there is a larger overall group with experience
The team that will come to Onondaga will be a “diaspora” squad, meaning there will be some Jamaican players, some heritage players, and even some non-Jamaican guys who just want to help out and get this team going in the right direction. It is NOT the Jamaican National Team. It is however, a Jamaican team in origin. The point is to start somewhere, and this seemed like the perfect event for Jamaica Lacrosse to get moving.
To show how serious they are (not only about this tourney, but also playing in Manchester in 2018 with an actual national team), the Jamaica Lacrosse Association has already posted a story on their team diaspora club coming to our event, and it goes into some very interesting detail on the future progression of the program. They also cover why it is so important for Jamaica to play their first ever international event on Iroquois lands, and how lacrosse can be a game of healing and community.
Calbert Hutchinson, the President of Jamaica Lacrosse, had this to say about Team Jamaica playing in the LASNAI:
“I think it is imperative that as we grow the sport of lacrosse here in Jamaica, that we pay our respects to the roots of the game. So it carries some very heavy symbolism that the first time we represent Jamaica on the international stage, that we do it at the birth place of the game, surrounded by our brothers and sisters from the Iroquois Confederacy.”
That’s what the LASNAI is all about – growing the game, sharing the game, and making life changing connections, all for the betterment of the Creator’s Game and future generations.
We now have teams from the USA, Canada, Iroquois Nations, Israel, the Czech Republic, AND Jamaica playing in our tournament, and we still have FIVE more teams to announce. This is shaping up to be something truly special.
We hope you’ll make the effort to come out and see it for yourself! If not, the coverage on LAS will be intense. Think EC16s, but bigger, and better – stories, full game videos up daily, photos, highlight videos… It’s all happening!
A big welcome to Jamaica, and all of our other competing teams!