ASHKELON, ISRAEL — Ashkelon LC was the first team to declare their franchise players for the 2016 Israel Premier Lacrosse League season, protecting midfielders Caleb Brodie and Jaffari Makanda, as well as defenseman Evan Kalish.
Brodie is a highly-touted recruit at Maryland, who are playing in the NCAA Final Four next weekend in Philadelphia. The 20-year-old is a former high school All-American and will be playing his first full season in the IPLL after seeing previous action as a member of the Birthright/USA All-Stars on the 2015 tour.
Makanda, a native of Mbarara, Uganda, made his debut on the big stage as team captain of the Uganda National Team at the 2014 FIL World Championships in Denver. The Ugandans, as the first African nation to compete in the World Games, were one of the big stories in Denver, and the 23-year-old did not disappoint, scoring seven goals. Makanda is a graduate of Makerere University.
Kalish, who plays NCAA ball for Bellarmine, was one of the top players in the IPLL in the 2015 season, leading Ashkelon all over the field to earn First Team All-Israel honors as a defenseman. He made his mark on the offensive end as well, scoring 13 goals and four assists, prompting Ashkelon LC brass to lock up the 21-year-old’s rights in Israel despite his uncertain return.
Ashkelon opens their 2016 season against the defending champion Barak Netanya LC on June 26th.