St. John’s junior Aidan Dempsey is headed across the pond this summer for the opportunity to play on the men’s U20 Irish national lacrosse team. He will compete in the 2019 Men’s European Under-20 Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. The event will take place from June 29–July 6 and is part of the European Lacrosse Federation (ELF).
Tryouts took place in October 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. Dempsey was one of a few lucky athletes who made the team. All teammates are between the ages of 16 and 20 and have had no NCAA experience.
Dempsey said that he was emailed by the organizers last year and decided to go over for the tryouts. When asked about his motivation to play for the Irish national team, he said, “My dad was born there, so I thought it would be really cool.”
Next year, the championships will be held in Limerick, Ireland. Dempsey said he definitely plans on continuing with lacrosse after high school, “I’m hoping to go to the Olympics for it, as well.” Currently, lacrosse is not included in the Olympic program. However, on Nov. 30, 2018, the International Olympic Committee officially recognized the Federation of International Lacrosse. Many think that this puts the sport on track to become part of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
For now, Dempsey said he is looking forward to the championship this summer and hoping that it will be a good experience. He also plays for the St. John’s boys’ lacrosse team, which has its first scrimmage on Feb. 26 at home against Episcopal.