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History Meets Athletics: Legacy of Lacrosse and Jim Brown

There is more to an athlete than what meets the eye. Every day a young person falls in love with the game, whatever the game may be, and later the history of the sport. A passion develops that drives athletes to put in the hard work necessary each and every day because of the history that has created a legacy for the sport. Lacrosse touches the hearts of many athletes across the country because of the deep rooted history the sport has.

“Lacrosse is probably the best sport I ever played,” Jim Brown told a New York Times reporter in 1984.

What most don’t know about Jim Brown, a former NFL running back for the Cleveland Browns and 8 time NFL All-Pro selection, was that he is also considered to be one of the best collegiate lacrosse players of his time. Brown attended Syracuse University, where he lettered in four sports including lacrosse. In his senior year, Brown scored 43 goals in only 10 games, which led him to be a First-Team All-American selection. Lacrosse is more than scoring goals and perfecting underhand shots for Brown.

“I believe in education. I am a student of seeking out knowledge,“ Brown commented during a recent interview with ESPN, “It [lacrosse] appealed to me because of the respect of the tradition and for our schools to recognize that there were other cultures.”

Brown went on to say that playing lacrosse was an opportunity for him to honor a culture that was different from his own. Like Brown, people across the country are learning about Native traditions because of the love of the game.

Lacrosse has been and continues to open doors for youth to learn more about Native traditions and cultures. Click here to watch the full ESPN interview with Jim Brown to learn how the history of the sport was as meaningful as his time spent on the field.