Dr. Hawkins & OAA Support the Puerto Rico Lacrosse Team at the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championship

June 27, 2018

As part of the OAA commitment to supporting a healthy and active lifestyle, Christopher A. Hawkins, MD, and the OAA Sports Medicine Institute have proudly sponsored the Puerto Rico Lacrosse team for the upcoming World Lacrosse Championship. This international Desi and Lou Gonzalez, Puerto Rico Lacrosse Team Memberstournament is held once every four years and in 2018 will be welcoming 46 national teams to Netanya Israel from July 12th through 21st. The OAA logo will be displayed on each team member’s helmet as they compete in the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championship this July.

The Puerto Rico Lacrosse team was established in 2016, so this will be their first chance to compete in the FIL event. They will start their competition in one of the featured televised matches versus Wales on July 13th. Though one of the newer programs to the FIL, the Puerto Rico team has developed quickly and is ranked ninth in the world currently. The team’s championship roster consists of 23 players who were selected through a tryout process that was open to any players from Puerto Rico or of Puerto Rican descent. This includes players with NCAA experience, Major League Lacrosse experience, and international experience.

The Lehigh Valley will be well represented with this squad as two of the team’s players, Desi and Lou Gonzalez, are rooted in our community.  Desi is the current head high school coach at Emmaus and was formerly the head coach at Southern Lehigh. Lou is well known to the Lehigh Valley lacrosse community and currently serves as both the coordinator and coach for the Duke’s National youth program – one of the preeminent club programs on the national level.

“I am thrilled to be able to support the Puerto Rico Lacrosse Team, especially because of Desi and Lou’s involvement in this team,” stated Dr. Hawkins. “To see the time and effort that these two men have put into developing lacrosse throughout the Lehigh Valley over the last several years, it was only right to give them our backing to take their talent to the world stage for the FIL championship in Israel.”

For Desi, their goals are twofold. “We want to try to put the best efforts out on the field and come together as a team during the experience of the World Lacrosse Championship”, but secondarily “we would like to give the people that currently live on Puerto Rico all of the opportunities lacrosse provides.” This includes a program to run clinics on the island using talented players from the Puerto Rican national team this summer and in the future.

The team will be outfitted with new custom Cascade S helmets that will be adorned with the flag and national colors of Puerto Rico, but also bear the OAA logo in recognition of the sponsorship. 

Fourteen games from the World Lacrosse Championships will be broadcasted on ESPN2 and ESPNU, and more than 160 matchups will be available to watch on ESPN+. Learn more about the World Lacrosse Championships or donate to the Puerto Rico Lacrosse team’s journey to the world tournament today.