NCAA Considers Rule to Prohibit Early Recruitment of Top Talent

NCAA
NCAA
Image: ncaa.org

Clifford (Cliff) Kigar is an accomplished lacrosse player who is committed to competing at a very high level. College recruiters are targeting top talent like Cliff Kigar, sometimes as early as the player’s ninth-grade year.

In December 2015, the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) voted to the NCAA to prohibit the recruitment of players until the beginning of their junior year. This is because of a growing trend with college recruiters courting players at very young ages. Specifically in lacrosse, players attend elite camps when they are in the 7th or 8th grade. It is at these camps that club coaches send talent reports to colleges indicating rising stars. In turn, the colleges are reaching out to these players and offering them college packages.

This practice has caused some players to make commitments to colleges before they even start high school. Many feel that these types of decisions should not be made at such young ages, as it causes player distractions and puts them in difficult positions. Oftentimes, these players change their minds about where they want to go to school or if they want to play collegiate lacrosse. Ultimately, many consider it improper to target talent at such young ages. The IMLCA’s recent proposal to the NCAA has the potential to halt early recruitment and allow freshmen and sophomores focus on their current high school careers instead of a potential college one.

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LtN Offers Access to Physical Extracurricular Activities in Costa Rica

Lacrosse the Nations pic
Lacrosse the Nations
Image: idealist.org

During his time at Olentangy High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, Clifford (Cliff) Kigar established himself as the school’s all-time leading scorer in lacrosse. Cliff Kigar continued his lacrosse career at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and remains involved with the sport through his support of Lacrosse the Nations (LtN).

Lacrosse the Nations (LtN) began in 2009 with a goal of improving the lives of children around the world through the sport of lacrosse. Expanding its services in 2012, LtN established a program in Playa Potrero, Costa Rica, where local students previously lacked access to extracurricular activities of the athletic variety. Thanks to LtN intervention, however, the children of Playa Potrero now enjoy daily physical education classes as well as an after-school lacrosse program open to students of all ages.

In an effort to provide further extracurricular options to children, LtN has partnered with Abriendo Mentes (AM), a Costa Rican nonprofit dedicated to enhancing employment and educational opportunities. After the successful introduction of its program in Playa Potrero, the organization has developed plans to expand to a nearby high school, through which LtN would reach an additional 500 students.

Participating and Donating to JDRF One Walk Events

Cliff “Clifford” Kigar is an experienced lacrosse player who uses his skills on the field to support charities like Lacrosse the Nations. Cliff Kigar also supports charities outside of the lacrosse community, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s One Walk campaign.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) works toward raising awareness and funds for diabetes research in a number of ways, including the JDRF One Walk campaign. All donations and contributions to the event help support the JDRF mission of eliminating diabetes in all its forms. Donations can be made to an individual participant or to an entire team. Any person wishing to contribute to One Walk without a specific entrant or group in mind can donate to a nearby event instead.

In lieu of monetary donations, a person can use the JDRF website to search for a local walk and sign up as an entrant. To find the nearest JDRF One Walk event, individuals simply need to enter their zip code into the JDRF search bar. The search engine provides relevant results for several months in the future.

Ways to Support Lacrosse the Nations

Cliff “Clifford” Kigar has played lacrosse as a member of the Olentangy High School and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute teams. His passion for the sport and for his community has inspired Cliff Kigar to participate in philanthropic activities with Lacrosse the Nations.

Lacrosse the Nations operates as an international community of lacrosse enthusiasts who use their love for the sport to improve educational opportunities and health care for children all over the world. Individuals can get involved with the Lacrosse the Nations (LtN) effort in a number of ways.

As a nonprofit, LtN relies heavily on the support and contributions of volunteers. Volunteer opportunities range from acting as a lacrosse coach for underprivileged youths to assisting in the coordination of LtN fundraisers. For more information on LtN volunteer opportunities and programs, visit http://www.lacrossethenations.org and download the full summary of LtN Team Up opportunities, including the Scoop for Loot and LtN Mini Jam fundraisers.

Individuals who do not have the time to volunteer but still wish to support the LtN cause can make a direct donation to the organization. These donations allow the group to continue using the sport of lacrosse as a teaching tool that imparts important life lessons and contributes to health education. Individuals can make a donation for any amount or make a $160 donation to the one-month nutrition program in Costa Rica. Donations can also be set as recurring monthly gifts.

JDRF Supports Lifesaving Research through One Walk Events

An honors student and standout lacrosse player at Olentangy High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, Clifford Kigar garnered honors as a first-team all-region attackman for the second season in a row. In addition to his academic and athletic pursuits, Cliff Kigar supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) through the organization’s One Walk fundraising program.

Formerly known as the Walk to Cure Diabetes, One Walk is JDRF’s flagship fundraising event and the biggest event of its kind in the world. Each year, more than 900,000 participants attend local One Walk events in over 200 communities across the United States.

Individuals can participate in One Walk by walking alone or as part of a family or corporate team. All funds raised through JDRF One Walk events are used to support the organization’s various research activities focused on developing new treatments and eventually a cure for type 1 diabetes. In the last 12 years, the fundraising program has raised over $1 billion for JDRF’s lifesaving research.

Lacrosse the Nations: The Scoop for Loot Fundraising Campaign

Promising young lacrosse player Clifford “Cliff” Kigar dedicates time and effort to fundraising and supporting Lacrosse the Nations. In addition to his fundraising page, Cliff Kigar organized a group of youth tournament referees who donated their ref pay in support of the organization.

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In 2012, the Scoop for Loot fundraising campaign raised more than $44,000, an amount that is dedicated to serving humanitarian causes both in the United States and in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Coordinated by Lacrosse the Nations, the campaign encourages lacrosse players to solicit donations from supporters both online and offline. Donations can take form as a fixed amount or can be associated with the number of team ground balls that are picked up in the course of a game. The game is chosen in advance by the player responsible for fundraising. Lacrosse the Nations has a comprehensive fundraising platform developed online, allowing all pledges and donations to be completed before the game begins.

Causes supported by the Scoop for Loot include salaries for lacrosse coaches and support staff in the United States, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, as well as scholarships for staff training and development, healthy snacks and meals, and funds for expenses incurred during field trips.

Lacrosse the Nations Unifying Communities Worldwide

Cliff Kigar is a field lacrosse player and is one of many volunteers of Lacrosse the Nations (LtN). LtN is an organization dedicated to strengthening communities across the world through lacrosse. Lacrosse may be simply a sport to some, but to Cliff Kigar and members of LtN, it’s a way to improve worldwide education and health by creating opportunities for children in need.

The core values of Lacrosse the Nations lie in creating autonomous leadership through unified strength. The organization serves as ambassadors of hope by providing underprivileged individuals with an opportunity to engage in an activity that promotes physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In areas with fewer athletic and educational opportunities, Lacrosse the Nations empowers individuals by teaching basic health and nutrition, as well as self-esteem and the importance of education. At the heart of the program is the idea that organized sports fosters natural child development and provides children of all ages and backgrounds with a positive social environment.