HL-LA Tours StringKing
When I was a high school player in Baltimore, I volunteered with an after-school lacrosse program, and the factory-strung sticks we put in new players’ hands were far inferior to what I was using at the time, carefully strung by one of my teammates and broken in for weeks. Old hard-mesh pockets took too long to break in, and the soft-mesh was either strung like a tennis racket or else bagged out immediately in the humid air of Baltimore City. The result for new players was a messier game that frustrated rather than rewarded.
Things are different in Southern California in 2018. One of the first errands I ran, as a new Harlem Lacrosse program director, was to pick up new sticks at StringKing, a lacrosse manufacturer in Gardena which has donated hundreds of lacrosse sticks to Harlem Lacrosse programs throughout the country. At any given HLLA boys’ practice, 95 percent of the lacrosse sticks in use are StringKing sticks. These sticks are ideal for our program: StringKing’s innovative lacrosse mesh technology and consistent “factory” stringing mean that boys with no lacrosse experience can pick up a stick that throws consistently the very first use and has a deep pre-formed pocket that is forgiving enough to catch with.
StringKing last week went even further by hosting us in their headquarters in Gardena. They showed us how the business runs, making tour stops at marketing, accounting, web design, product development and testing, inventory and shipping: every facet of their growing business. They even gave us a sneak peek at some new products and showed us what they have cooking in the women’s game; mesh pockets are legal in women’s lacrosse for the first time this spring, and StringKing is ready to deliver. We finished the tour with a wall-ball demo by StringKing Pro Matt Gibson and some target practice on their goal.
As the cost of American youth sports grows and lacrosse sits atop the heap, programs like Harlem Lacrosse need quality inexpensive sticks. Thankfully, we receive donations of good used sticks from teams, families and individuals, and new sticks from companies like StringKing. We can ALWAYS use more. At View Park Prep in Inglewood, 2nd and 3rd graders ask me almost every day if I can give them their own lacrosse stick. I’d love to be in the position to do that. If you have some lacrosse equipment that could go to a Harlem Lacrosse program, get in touch with us and we’ll take it right off your hands and put it back into play.