As a lacrosse player, Pat Young found a passion that he was able to latch onto and become successful.
Now he would like to see others in similar situations get the same opportunity he enjoyed.
“i am just a kid from the 609 who grew up on same streets enjoyed the same things as the these kids,” Young said of his native Mercer County. “I hung out at the same places like Hoagie Haven and I went to Thomas Sweet just like other kids. I was lucky that I had a lot of support in my life and that I am in the position I am in now.”
Later this month Young will begin his second season as a member of the Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse. He is currently finishing work toward his degree at the University of Maryland, where he played his senior year of college lacrosse after spending three years ay UMBC.
Young plans to bring his passion for lacrosse back to the area with a free clinic at Centercourt in Lawrence on April 15, as well as two weeks of lacrosse camps at the same location this summer.
“I graduate in May,” Young said. “I’ve been doing some coaching in Maryland as a volunteer with Maryland and I started my own club team, PGLC. I have been coaching and doing a bunch of clinics up and down the East Coast. Our clinic on the 15th is free and we’ll have an open house to be able to come out meet me and do a little promotion for the camp this summer.
“It will be a two week camp in July. This is so people can come out and meet and greet and get the lacrosse community familiar with what is going on locally. I like to give back to the community. Any time I can come back and give back is great.”
Young helped Maryland reach the NCAA championship game in the spring as a midfielder for the Terrapins. He then played in five games with the Hounds in the MLL and will begin his second professional season April 22.
He is looking forward to holding the clinic and the camps at the new Centercourt facility, which is something Young would have loved to have at his disposal when he was growing up.
“It is a blessing to have something like that,” he said. “I had to go to Robbinsville to play indoor and to have something like this right in the area where I grew up is something I wish I had. I would have been one of those kids you would had to kick out every night to get them to leave.”
The clinic in April 15 will be for players in grades K-5 from 4-5 p.m. and for players in grades 6-12 from 5-6 p.m. Young, along with former West Windsor-Plainsboro North and Syracuse star Joe Moore, will direct the camp in July.
“Working with kids is something I am passionate about,” Young said. “I feel they are the future of this place we call earth. If we want to keep it peaceful and the way we want to see it we have to instill some good morals and give them a push in the right direction. If lacrosse is one way to do that, then we have to take advantage of that. It has ben my platform. If I can help another inner city kid that is a positive.
“The clinic is for everybody, not matter what level they are. We will go out and do some shooting and defensive demos and maybe a little 3-on-3 to get out there and run a little.”
The clinic will serve as a preview for the summer camps, which will be held in July.
“The camps will be a little more advanced,” Young said. “We will have the younger kids from the 10th the 13th and then older kids rom the 17th to the 20th. The second week is geared for the kid who has a more developed game and wants to hone in on certain things and take their game to the next level.”
Young knows all about taking his game to the next level. From his humble beginnings in Mercer County he has reached the highest level of lacrosse. And now he’ll look to pass on what he has learned to athletes in a similar position.