SU lacrosse builds presence in Atlanta
March is usually a time when sports fans focus on NCAA basketball. But for Atlanta SU alumni and friends, another event deserves attention. On March 8 the SU men’s lacrosse team will take on St. John’s at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Georgia—the first SU lacrosse matchup in Atlanta since 1927. See event details.
It’s a historic event for an iconic team. SU advanced to the national championship game last year and boasts a long tradition of excellence in the sport. But the connection between SU and Atlanta’s lacrosse community goes far beyond the upcoming game.
Atlanta’s LB3 Lacrosse Club, a premier youth lacrosse development company founded by SU alum former lacrosse All American Liam Banks ’03, is hosting the SU game as the featured event for the inaugural Cobb County Lacrosse Classic. The game will be part of a weekend-long event including clinics with the players and a youth jamboree for U13 and U15 teams, all at the Kennesaw State University recreational complex.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have SU lacrosse coming to play here. Coach Desko has been such a great supporter of LB3 and the growth of lacrosse in Atlanta, and it’s a testament to his commitment to grow lacrosse in non-traditional areas,” Banks says. “Kids will get a chance to play some lacrosse and watch the best teams in the country compete. It should be a great weekend for lacrosse in Georgia.”
A former MLL player and head coach, Banks is also spearheading efforts to bring a Major League Lacrosse franchise to Atlanta. Read the story in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Banks has forged a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with SU lacrosse players and coaches. Many of the LB3 coaches are current or former SU lacrosse players. SU lacrosse Head Coach John Desko runs a summer camp at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, each year. Many of the LB3 high school teams even traveled to Syracuse for a tournament last summer, giving SU lacrosse a competitive edge for recruiting efforts.
Atlanta Regional Council member Tom Baker ’72 has watched his son, Sam, learn and grow through the LB3 program, and he’s proud to see such a strong Orange connection.
“My son has been coached by current players Brenny Daly and Kevin Rice, and the program has brought former All Americans and current MLL players like John Galloway and Joel White to Georgia,” Baker says. “Last summer, after one practice, all of the players and their families were invited to a cookout with two featured speakers: legendary SU lacrosse coach Roy Simmons Jr. and Matt Palumb, SU assistant athletics director and a three-time national champion goalie.”
Baker continues, “Living in Georgia as long as I have, hearing a presentation that was all about SU was surreal to me. Every parent and player who heard those presentations walked away with a positive impression of Syracuse University.”
For Banks, hosting SU vs. St. John’s in Atlanta is one more way of supporting his alma mater.
“I’m so proud to say that I’m an Orangeman. I met my wife at Syracuse, had a great experience both academically and athletically, and I’m grateful to have the support of the SU family in putting on this game,” Banks says. “I hope that all alumni will take the opportunity to come to the game, catch up with old friends, meet new friends, and watch the best lacrosse program compete.”