For Penticton lacrosse star Nick Kapusty, playing for the Slovakian National Lacrosse Team is particularly special because his grandfather had the chance to watch him play in several championships before he passed away in June.
“It’s nice to play for a team in a country where my grandfather was raised,” he said of his grandfather, George, who was born in the former Czechoslovakia, which qualified him to play for the team. “It was pretty awesome for him to say that I was playing for his country. That was probably my biggest thing — playing for my grandfather.”
Kapusty was playing in the 2019 World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor World Championship for the Slovakian squad, which started this Thursday in Langley. He was recruited by the team four years ago.
— 2019 World Lacrosse Mens Indoor World Championship (@WILC2019) September 22, 2019
Since he was recruited by the team the 25-year-old athlete, who is currently the production manager at Penticton’s Highway 97 Brewery, has played in the European Indoor Lacrosse Championship in Finland in 2017, In that championship, he led the scoring, helping the team to finish fifth overall, which vaulted the Slovakian team to seventh place in Europe.
In 2018, Kapusty played in the World Field Lacrosse Championships in Israel where the Slovakian team jumped to twenty-third place in the world.
“It’s definitely been a huge eyeopener and an honour to be a part of this organization,” Kapusty said, adding he is learning the language and has been able to travel around the country.
“I probably would never have gone if it wasn’t for this team. I got to go to Israel and learn about Israel, too,” he added.
Kapusty started playing lacrosse with the Penticton Heat midget boys lacrosse team. From there, he progressed to play with the South Okanagan Flames. The 25-year-old was then drafted by the Victoria Shamrocks and now plays senior lacrosse with the Coquitlam Adanacs.
He is considered a heritage player by World Lacrosse and now that lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world — both indoor and outdoor — there is a huge push to grow the game around the world.
Kapusty’s advice to young lacrosse athletes, hoping to follow in his footsteps: “Expand your horizons. Reach out to different countries and play lacrosse more. For younger people in Canada, I would say stick with it and play for your country.”
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