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Charlotte North: Giving Back to the Game

The former Boston College standout looks at life beyond graduation as she enters her first professional season with Athletes Unlimited.

It was a cross-country whirlwind for Charlotte North last month as she flew out to appear at the ESPYs in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, then hopped a jet 2,700 miles to Baltimore, where she arrived just in time to suit up for her Athletes Unlimited debut.

It was representative of the last few months for the Boston College graduate, who capped off her college lacrosse career with a difficult 12-11 loss to UNC in the national championship game, joined Team USA to secure gold at the World Lacrosse 2022 Women’s World Championship, and kickstarted her professional career with Athletes Unlimited.

And to her, the game is worth the chaos.

“Lacrosse is in a great place. It’s given me so much. So many great relationships and memories,” North told Boardroom. “I want to continue to give back in any way that I can to the sport.”

North has been a key player in a new generation of athletes who are refining the boundaries of lacrosse. Ask any young laxer who they want to be, and chances are they’ll call out Charlotte North by name. Her signature eight-meter shot has been branded with her namesake.

Boardroom caught up with the powerhouse attacker to discuss her transition from the college game, what she is most excited about with Athletes Unlimited, and more.

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Soaring Eagle

The path to the pros has had its hiccups. North logged a wild college career, dictated in large part by the limitations of the pandemic. She spent her first two seasons at Duke, transferring to BC as a junior and cashing in on her extra COVID season while pursuing a Master’s degree in Sports Administration.

In Chestnut Hill, she found a team that was tailor-made for her success.

“It’s just such a strong culture of winning and a strong culture of family and love. It’s something that’s unmatched,” she reflected. “That’s where you see those results. … It all comes from the coaches and the teammates [who] build that culture every day.”

From All-American honors to a National Championship in 2021, North made a name for herself and rewrote the Eagles’ record books along the way.

Branding North

Throughout her career, Charlotte has leaned into the creativity that first made her fall in love with the sport the moment she picked up a stick in seventh grade. Now she’s hoping to pass on that love to the next class of talent.

The summer before her final year, the landscape of college sports changed when NIL legislation enabled student-athletes to cash in. North capitalized on the opportunity, securing a partnership with Pennzoil and launching her own name-branded camp in her hometown of Dallas.

“The change was a long time coming and it’s huge for collegiate athletes. It’s something that everyone, I think, deserves a chance to have,” she said. “I think the coolest part for me was just being able to have those clinics. It’s just so special. [It’s] something that we’ve needed for a while.”

In building her legacy, North sees her name-branded camps as an opportunity for her to make her mark and enhance access to the sport she loves.

“It’s a goal of mine because it’s all about having access [in] the sport and growing it all over as much as possible. If I can play a small part in that, that’s definitely something I wanna do,” she said.

Leaping Forward

Soon after her season ended, North swapped out the maroon and gold for red, white, and blue, representing the United States at the 2022 World Championship.

“[The opportunity to wear] the US jersey was unbelievable,” she said. “The memories we made over those few weeks together were just priceless. I’m just grateful that I got a chance to do that.”

Not one to take even a moment to slow down, Charlotte continued her world tour. Next stop: Athletes Unlimited. Fresh off her gold medal performance, she entered the four-week pro league that offers athletes an opportunity to extend their legacy, vying for individual and team success. This summer, AU has more eyes than ever, as ESPN is broadcasting a select set of matchups.

Heading into the final weekend of action, North sits in the league’s top-10 in points, with her signature scrappy style resulting in 23 goals.

“I think the rules here are so much fun,” North said. “It’s different. It’s a new challenge. And I just think it showcases the sport in a fun, new way.”

But in Baltimore, Charlotte is playing for something bigger than herself. Each athlete in the AU universe selects a cause near and dear to their heart. North Is playing for Morgan’s Message, founded by the family of Morgan Rodgers, a former Duke lacrosse player who died by suicide in 2019. The Foundation is committed to de-stigmatizing mental health struggles, and Charlotte’s commitment to the cause is personal. The two were teammates during her first two college years at Duke.

“I think what Morgan’s Message is doing is just so incredible,” she said. “It has brought a strong conversation surrounding mental health into the light, [which] has just been something that is so needed and this is a long time coming. Any chance to represent this cause is an honor.”

As she looks toward the future, North’s eye is on the continued growth of lacrosse. While she is open to lending her name to businesses, she will be unwavering in her values and representing things that fuel her — including gender equity and sports. She is looking backward to look forward and is excited for what lies ahead.

 “Lacrosse is growing rapidly,” she said. “We’re finally getting the treatment and the coverage that we deserve. But there’s still so much more to be done. And I want to help that in any way shape, or form that I can.”