6 Points Sports Academy camper Sam Burgunder traveled to Netanya, Israel for the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships. He left from his second session of 6 Points for Israel and then returned to finish his third session of camp. This was the first year Israel has hosted the lacrosse championships and Burgunder’s third time visiting Israel. The championships took place July 12 through July 21. At the beginning of his trip, he toured Masada, the Dead Sea, and Jerusalem. Later he served as an intern for international lacrosse teams competing in the championships.
Part of Burgunder’s duties as an intern was to act as the teams’ ball and water boy. He also had the opportunity to explore Vendor Village and interact with the international competing lacrosse players, including Team USA players like Paul Rabil, Rob Pannell, and Ryan Brown.
“I’ve watched Team USA play lacrosse since they were in college,” Burgunder said. “Those guys are role models I’ve looked up to my whole life and being able to be on the sideline with them was really special.
During his time there, he played lacrosse with Americans and Israelis. About 30 Americans and 100 Israelis were split up into seven lacrosse teams and Burgunder’s team Shahar Negev won his group’s championship.
“It was really cool to mix with Israelis and Americans who were older than me and learn their culture, so it was really cool to mix and make friends with people from places I wouldn’t usually get to know—just like camp,” he said.
Burgunder’s been involved with Israel lacrosse for a few years now. Through his participation in the U13 word series of youth lacrosse team, he was offered the chance to go to Israel for the world championships. His suggestion, to kids looking to have similar opportunities in their own sports of choice, is to find a niche.
“Pick an organization, like I did with Israel Lacrosse, something that combines a bunch of things that you love,” he said. “For me, it’s Israel, Judaism, and lacrosse and really get involved with it. Make sure it’s one of your passions.”
This is Burgunder’s 6th year and 18th session at 6 Points Sports Academy.
“Playing lacrosse with other Jewish athletes is really special,” he said. “I don’t know what it is, but there’s some sort of bond that gets created.”
At 6 Points Sports Academy, he isn’t the only one passionate about Israeli lacrosse.
“Coach Jackie and Gina are both involved with Israel lacrosse and they helped me to also get involved,” he said. “It’s really cool to see them wearing the same jersey that I have.”
Burgunder is going into the tenth grade at the Friends School in Baltimore, Maryland. Last year he played for his schools JV lacrosse team. He hopes to continue playing lacrosse this upcoming school year.