“Powerful”: Nakeie Montgomery gives back in Dallas homecoming

By Libby Vandal | Aug 3, 2022

Twelve years ago Nakeie Montgomery was playing for Bridge Lacrosse in Dallas, TX when Boston Cannons midfielder Paul Rabil came to town for a clinic.

On Saturday, Nakeie – now a professional midfielder himself – returned home with Rabil and a pair of lacrosse goals for his former program.

Redwoods LC midfielder Nakeie Montgomery was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Growing up, he played football. One day in third grade, when his best friend was off to lacrosse practice, Nakeie followed. Since then he’s been hooked on the sport. He went on to play for Saint Phillips which is now Bridge Lacrosse. They describe their vision of the sport as “Equal access for our community's youth to the unique benefits of lacrosse.” 

This past weekend things came full circle for Nakeie who returned to his Bridge Lacrosse roots with Goals for Greatness, an organization founded by Paul Rabil with a commitment to resourcing lacrosse goals in all 50 states, every year. 

“I know how powerful that was. I felt it yesterday,” said Nakeie. “It was incredible to just give back to a bunch of Nakeies.”

 “Back when I was in that position a lot of people inserted themselves into my life and helped me in various unselfish ways, and so for me to be able to do that is just so powerful. That’s what it’s all about.”

Nakeie shared that he loved being able to give back and pay it forward as well as having the kids of Bridge Lacrosse pick his brain and ask him questions, a total role reversal from the last time he spent a clinic with Paul Rabil.

Redwoods LC head coach Nat St. Laurent explained that Nakeie’s enthusiasm to give back came as  “no surprise,” sharing that Nakeie “really cares to give back to where he came from because the game and the people have done so much for him” and went on to describe Nakeie as an “incredibly positive and a great teammate”.

On Sunday Nakeie played his first lacrosse game in Dallas since high school – with his whole family cheering him on. Playing in front of his mother, his Bridge Lacrosse coaches, and the kids he coached at Saturday’s clinic, Nakeie played his best game of his rookie season. Everyone who helped Nakeie from the first time he picked up a lacrosse stick was able to see him play on the sport’s biggest stage.

“If you don’t have a village, get you one,” said Nakeie’s mother, Caravhoni Punch. “A village is so important, especially when you’re raising boys that play sports.”

That village came out in full force on Sunday.

Nakeie had a stand out game in Dallas, recording his first multi-goal game as a pro. St. Laurent and the Redwoods drafted Nakeie because of his ability to contribute both offensively and defensively. St. Laurent went on to explain that the team “asked a lot of Nakeie as a rookie and set high expectations for him.” This past weekend however, the entire team was able to see everything come together for Nakeie as he enjoyed his best game yet. 

Making the weekend even more special, members of Bridge Lacrosse, the organization Nakeie grew up playing with, were able to enjoy a premium experience at The Star which Nakeie described as “totally awesome.”

Nakeie described this weekend as “the best game he's played so far this season,” and getting a big confidence boost as the season continues.

Nakeie will look to carry that confidence into the Redwoods next game against Cannons LC on Friday, August 5th at 9:00 PM ET.