BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Brooklyn Lacrosse is looking for a few good helmets, sticks and balls — the older, the better.
The borough's fledgling lacrosse club recently launched the Brooklyn Vintage Lacrosse Shop to support its mission to bring the high-contact sport to the kids of Brooklyn, and they are collecting donations from older lacrosse players willing to help.
"We are a week in and have already received several fantastic vintage items," said Joe Nocella, director of the Brooklyn Lacrosse youth league. "Selling these donated items will keep the sport accessible to kids in Brooklyn."
Nocella, an avid lacrosse player and professor of Interior Design at Pratt Institute, started Brooklyn Lacrosse last year when he noticed a lack of the sport being played.
But in order to start a club at minimal cost to players, he needed to get creative. His online vintage shop — which sells items like sticks from the 1970s, a 1948 eye protector, a 1954 NCAA Season Guide and a lacrosse trading card from 1911 — offered a solution to the money woes.
The proceeds from the online store's sales go directly to the club and its players. This season the club is hosting 750 players from first thtough eighth grades, with each child getting to play for an annual fee of $99. During the summer, the club hosts free lacrosse at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
But it's not all about the money. Nocella said that there is no other organization around that curates a collection of vintage lacrosse items, and he hopes his miscellany of treasures will also help teach the kids about the history of the sport.
"The vintage equipment is quite crude and shows how amazing athletes of the past were," he said. "For myself, researching and learning some of the history of lacrosse has been a blast."
The public can donate items or buy goods at the online Vintage Lacrosse Shop. Brooklyn Lacrosse Free Summer Sessions take place on Sunday mornings at Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Visit Brooklyn Lacrosse for more details.