Opinion - Lacrosse on 9/11

Written by: Carrie Gamper

Published: September 11, 2021 – 10:30 am ET

Pittsburgh, PA – I woke up this morning, a beautiful Saturday morning in Pittsburgh, and took my two dogs for a walk. Today was the first Saturday of PYLAX (Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse) fall practice, and I wanted to make sure my dogs were tired before leaving them at home for five hours. 

As the radio turned on for my quick 10 minute drive to Frick Park, the weight of the day began to sink in. I continued to stream the 9/11 coverage throughout our walk. Midway through the park my mind wandered and I began considering the 7th and 8th grade girls that I would see later in the day. How do they understand this day in history? What does 9/11 mean to them? Is it a topic worth addressing? If so, how?  

While I support the whole PYLAX program (K-8th), I am leading the development of the 7th and 8th grade girls. This fall we are going to master stick skills and build our mental toughness. That includes a lot of running. However, inspired by Billie Jean King’s quote, “You have to see it to be it!” I was going to make a standing offer that if the girls could name one female lacrosse player they admired at each practice, they could sit out one sprint. This was the plan, until I noticed one player in a grey Boston College t-shirt, the back designed like a jersey with 19, Crowther. 

For those who are unfamiliar with Welles Crowther’s story, I encourage you to learn more. For the twenty four girls who came to fall-ball today, we spent the last few minutes of practice talking about Welles, his love for the game of lacrosse, his unwavering desire to serve others, and his sacrifice. 

Unity was echoed throughout many politicized speeches this morning. Shared passion for sports provides unparalleled unification. PYLAX hosted 100 girls throughout today, with unified passion, goals and determination. The life lessons and values learned on the lacrosse field will serve these girls for years to come. 

I am sincerely grateful to serve my passion for youth sports in my professional career. 60 million children in the United States (more than population of California) are playing sports every year. The ability to connect with, to shape, and to support the next generation can be achieved on the field and on the court. I love that, at BASE, we build powerful and meaningful connections between youth athletes and brands that support their journeys. I welcome all brands who seek to connect with the millions of passionate sports families to join us.

Welles Crowther - Remembered as The Man in the Red Bandana

About Carrie Gamper

Carrie is leading strategy and analytics for BASE Sports Group.  She played and captained for the University of Denver women’s lacrosse team, a foundation for her career in sports. She has worked as a Brand Manager for STX, a Sports and Entertainment Sponsorship Consultant for Nielsen, the Director of Marketing and Communications for Major League Lacrosse, and the Director of Key Partnerships for JMI Sports. 

Carrie has coached lacrosse on four continents, and is proudly spending her Saturdays developing Pittsburgh’s next generation of lacrosse talent. 

About BASE Sports Group 

BASE Sports Group was founded in 2021 to bring a sophisticated and measured approach to brand engagement in amateur sports. Youth sports is a $17 billion industry. Families with kids playing at elite levels are investing 2-10% of their annual household income so that their children may pursue their athletic dreams. The events and facilities where these kids play capture their families’ undivided attention and offer the most valuable engagement opportunities for brands.  

BASE’s leadership team touts nearly 50 years of experience in the sports industry. This experience includes sponsorship strategy and sales from amateur, collegiate, and professional sports, in addition to local, regional, and national brands. Through partnerships with rightsholders of various sizes, scope, and sports, BASE is building a portfolio of facilities and events that will offer brands access to the most diverse and valuable demographic.