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The Box Evolution. Episode 1: The Foundation

By Press Release, 03/16/20, 10:15AM PDT

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During the summer of 2019, the National Collegiate Box Series provided upwards of 200 American college-aged players an opportunity to improve their overall lacrosse skillset through box lacrosse, to compete for a National Championship, and also increase their chances of one day playing in the National Lacrosse League

Last year’s season was easily the most impactful one we’ve witnessed to date, culminating with the two top teams in the nation competing in Irvine, California for the NCBS National Championship. 

We had cameras rolling before seasons in Colorado (Colorado Collegiate Box Lacrosse League) and Ohio (Ohio Collegiate Box Lacrosse League) kicked off, and kept filming right up until the OCBLL’s Rivermen wrote their names in NCBS record books as the country’s first NCBS National Champions.

Today, USBOXLA is extremely proud to present… The Box Evolution. 

The three-part mini documentary, filmed by former American NLL player now USBOXLA storyteller, Zach Heffner, follows players in both leagues during the entire 2019 NCBS season. 

Part I: The Foundation, checks in with some of USBOXLA’s top coaches and directors, who discuss why the formation of the NCBS, which adds two more leagues to the fold in 2020 – Connecticut and Upstate New York – was needed in the country to further develop the American box lacrosse player past the youth and high school levels. This first chapter also peels back the pre-season process, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the CCBLL’s player combine. 

Heffner, like many American players of his generation, jumped into the NLL with absolutely no box lacrosse background. Fitting into seasons with both the San Jose Stealth and Chicago Shamrox, Heffner was one of the few US-born box newcomers who was able to transition from college grass fields to the NLL’s indoor turf rinks at the time.  

“It's amazing to see what USBOXLA is doing for the growth of the sport at all levels, especially when it comes to the NCBS,” said Heffner. “For these players to have the opportunity to play high-level competition and have such a clear path to NLL is really incredible. 

“To be able to capture this story as it unfolds is something that's really special to me, considering my path to the NLL was anything but clear.”

Part II of The Box Evolution will take a closer look at the seasons that unfolded in Denver, Columbus, and Cleveland, while Part III will focus on the history-making finale between the Rivermen and Fighting Bison at the USBOXLA Nationals in Irvine, California. 

“I am proud as a filmmaker to know that my work can help inspire the next generation of players,” said Heffner, who in addition to working with USBOXLA, has also produced content for clients like Disney, Nike, Facebook, ESPN, Fox Sports, and PBS. “We are watching history unfold in real time, and being able to have documented these moments is something I hope the lacrosse community can cherish for many years to come.”