By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/21/12
Chase Young is the ideal example of Maverik Lacrosse’s popular new commercial called “The Future is Here.”
A sophomore, African-American player at St. Joseph’s Prep, he helps coach youths for the LEAPS Lacrosse program in the inner city. Recently, Young committed to play at the University of Michigan, a new Division I program that can only help the westward expansion of lacrosse at the major college level and beyond.
The Maverik commercial was officially released Monday morning, with several Philly players and coach John Christmas playing key roles. Christmas, a Maverik rep and endorsed athlete who was an All-American at Lower Merion and Virginia and later played for the Philadelphia Wings, coached Young with the Duke’s Lacrosse Club and co-founded the LEAPS program with Young’s high school coach, Eric Gregg.
In the scene – one of four that show lacrosse at very different settings – Christmas is coaching LEAPS youth players. Suddenly, they look over to Young as he rips a shot into the net. Christmas, one of the most noted African-American lacrosse players, flashes a large grin as he acknowledges the passing of skills and love of lacrosse to the younger generations.
Young answered these questions on his experience:
What was it like to participate in such a major advertising venture and how did it connect to your time with LEAPS?
Young: “Maverick lacrosse has captured and branded the concept that lacrosse is continually growing and reaching new pockets of areas. Maverick recognizing that LEAPS Lacrosse founded by Coach Gregg and Coach Christmas, who are dedicated to bringing the sport of lacrosse into the inner city of Philadelphia was perfect.
“I volunteer for LEAPS Lacrosse because I believe in the mission and commitment of LEAPS. There is a certain excitement about reaching out to inner city youths to make them aware that lacrosse is an option. Coach Gregg and Coach Christmas gave me the opportunity through the Maverick commercial The Future is Here to show my passion for lacrosse and helping others.”
What was your role in the scene?
Young: “The Maverik team basically instructed me to interact with the LEAPS youth by demonstrating fundamental lacrosse skills as well as mechanics. I honestly had to do what I love.”
How was it to work with the Maverik team, especially coach Christmas?
Young: “Being in the scene and working with Coach Christmas was definitely one of my most memorable lacrosse experiences. I have admired and respected Coach Christmas since I was a youth just starting out to play lacrosse and I can remember watching his highlights at UVA and meeting him for the first time. I have been a fan ever since.
“Whether, Coach Christmas is giving me instructions, coaching my team for Dukes or just being a mentor, to interact with one of the best lacrosse players of all time is a highlight. The respect I have for Coach Christmas goes well beyond his talents on the lacrosse field. It is his dedication towards youths in hopes to spark an interest, provide inspiration or help create a dream is just as monument as his performance on the field.
“Coach Christmas was my inspiration as a youth that perhaps a kid like me may have the opportunity to play lacrosse for a collegiate program.”
How do feel the commercial turned out?
Young: “The final product is outstanding. Maverik continually makes their products adapt to the game of lacrosse. They understand the change and expansion of the sport. The commercial demonstrates the growth of the lacrosse world in every aspect.
“Personally, it represents my lacrosse career – an East Coast kid, inspired by Coach Christmas, coached and mentored by Coach Gregg, heading to the Midwest (new lacrosse area) to be a part of the new Division I Lacrosse Program at the University of Michigan. I am extremely thankful for having the opportunity to participate in a commercial that represents the growth of lacrosse.
What did you learn from the experience and what is the message Maverik is making about passing on the sport to the next group of youngsters?
Young: “I learned that a camera can capture a theme, thought and way of life and present it to a wide group. I also learned that lacrosse is full circle. I have admired and watched Coach Christmas play lacrosse and reach out to youths to promote the game of lacrosse.
“In a couple of years I am heading to the University of Michigan and behind me are youths – especially my younger brother Jordan (who has a small role in the commercial and plays for the Dukes Triple H team under Gregg and Christmas) – that are embracing the sport of lacrosse. It starts with inspiration, followed by hard work and dedication.”
Christmas, who now resides and trains lacrosse players in San Francisco and remains highly involved in working with inner-city youths in California and still with LEAPS, answered these questions:
How did the commercial look to you?
Christmas: “I thought the commercial turned out well. I think Maverik is positioning themselves as being the brand that wants to grow the sport.
“That is right up the alley with what is actually happening. The sport is growing so much all over the world. And at the end (of the commercial), in a deeper sense, think what the commercial tries to transfer are the moments that coaches can make when they step back and take that time to help a kid or a team.”
How does the commercial speak to the work done with LEAPS?
Christmas: “That’s what the future is about – taking the present moment and focusing on the task at hand. That is what Maverick is definitely doing – and they are being innovative in their approach to grow the brand. Hey, the more people that play, the more equipment is needed.
“In regards to LEAPS and the inner city, I feel it’s the last frontier for lacrosse (expansion and growth).”
Tags: St. Joeph's Prep