Lacrosse Taking Churchbourne Around the Globe | Sports | – Southern Pines Pilot

Posted By on August 31, 2021

Up until he was in middle school and even older, Jacob Churchbourne had never played lacrosse as a sport or knew his family had Jewish heritage.

Now the two will take him halfway across the globe in a few weeks.

Churchbourne never played lacrosse for his high school, and he had one limited year of club lacrosse at N.C. State University, but now he is going to play the sport internationally in a program to grow the sport as a part of the Israel Lacrosse Association this fall.

I was just looking for an opportunity to keep playing and I found out about the Israel Lacrosse Association and how I could connect with my Jewish heritage and grow the game in Israel, he said. I jumped at the chance.

First introduced to the sport in middle school through a family friend, Churchbourne was looking for something to play when hockey was out of season. What he found was his new passion.

Churchbourne was an original member of the Sandhills Lacrosse Association that led the way to his alma mater, Union Pines, starting a NCHSAA-sanctioned girls lacrosse team and a boys team set to play this coming spring.

The COVID-19 pandemic cut his only season on the N.C. State club team short. After graduating from Union Pines in 2019 with several Sandhills Community College credits, Churchbourne graduated in a year and a half from N.C. State with a degree in sports management and was looking for more in terms of lacrosse.

It piqued my interest and this past year as I was graduating, I was looking for an opportunity. Then I came across a link on their website where they were running a gap year program, Churchbourne said. I get to experience the country and learn some life skills.

Churchbourne said that it wasnt until recent years that he learned of his Jewish heritage. He took a trip to Israel this past summer his first trip ever outside of the country as a part of a program that allows college students to go for 10 days and experience the country and the culture.

Jacob Churchbourne takes part in an Israel Lacrosse Association event during his time with the program this summer. The Vass native will be going to Israel for a six-month program in October to help grow the game in Israel.

Thats when he got his first taste of the Israel Lacrosse Association.

Just being able to head back to Israel and grow the game of lacrosse is something Im really passionate about, Churchbourne said. Especially with kids in underprivileged communities to give them the opportunity to play, and be introduced to something that builds you up and allows you to connect with other people.

To be able to tell my kids one day what I did over there means a lot to me.

Now accepted into a six-month program where he will help grow the sport of lacrosse in Israel, Churchbourne is raising funds to pay for his travel and stay. He will leave for Israel in September and begin Oct. 1 with the six-month engagement.

Through this experience, he hopes that his degree path and time spent there could lead to more with him and the association.

Jacob is the son of Chris and Leigh Churchbourne. His sister, Caroline, plays for the Union Pines girls lacrosse team.

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Lacrosse Taking Churchbourne Around the Globe | Sports | - Southern Pines Pilot

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