Four years after Jaron Greenidge helped lead Riverhead boy’s lacrosse to the playoffs for the first time in school history, he has been drafted to play the sport on an international stage for Team Puerto Rico.
This opportunity is not only Greenidge’s first shot at professional lacrosse, but is especially meaningful because he will play for Puerto Rico, where his grandfather was born.
“I get to represent not only my family, but the people of Puerto Rico as well,” Greenidge said in an interview today.
Greenidge will be playing in the Federation of International Lacrosse, which is the only international league for the sport. Every four years, the league hosts the World Lacrosse Championships, with its next major event scheduled for July 2018 in Israel. Next year’s championship will host teams from 50 countries – and for the very first time, the United States territory of Puerto Rico will be one of them.
Greenidge will be among the first 23 players to ever represent the team, which was founded last year to play in the 2018 championships.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Greenidge said. “Puerto Rico is a first-year program, and I’m really proud to be a part of that.”
All of the team members either hail from Puerto Rico or have a Puerto Rican member of their immediate family. Like Greenidge, many also currently play lacrosse in a college league – Greenidge is currently team captain at Molloy College, where he is finishing his senior year.
A handful of the team’s players are also currently members of Major League Lacrosse, which is the United State’s domestic lacrosse league.
“I’m going to learn a lot from the guys who are there,” Greenidge said. “It’s going to be a great experience.”
The team is also currently fundraising for hurricane relief for Puerto Rico, where most of the island is still without power seven weeks after Hurricane Maria decimated its power grid.
“We have something to really play for,” Greenidge said. “I hope it will be uplifting for the people of Puerto Rico to see us out there representing them.”
To fund his trip to the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships in Israel, Greenidge is raising money through his team’s website. So far, he has raised roughly half of the $4,200 necessary to make the trip. Anyone interested in donating can visit this link and identify “Jaron Greenidge” as the player to benefit from the donation.
Donations above his $4,200 goal will go toward hurricane relief, as well as any merchandise purchased on the team’s online store.