This piece was originally published by in 2002 and was written by John Hetzel, archived here via the Wayback Machine:

Host club LCC Radotin is pleased to announce the successful staging of its 9th annual Aleš Hřebeský Memorial box tournament-HBA Cup. Ten teams gathered xfrom Germany, America, and the Czech Republic for three days of sightseeing, socializing and great box lacrosse action. The tournament upstaged last year’s event with the improved quality of participating teams, bigger crowds, (3,000 over the weekend), and, the addition of stadium lights which permitted Saturday’s dynamic evening program.

Teams dueled in round-robin groups of five with the top two advancing through to Sunday’s semi-finals. REBEL skipper Bill Curtis promised to improve off 2001’s disappointing semi-final loss to reigning Czech league box champs LC Jizni Mesto and did just that, returning to Prague, Radotin with a sturdy squad of talented box veterans including current Washington Power/New Jersey Pride pro Jeff Wills. Sporting flashy, new jerseys and classy, hibiscus-paneled bloomers, team REBEL was too tough to handle, coasting through its group 4-0 and pulling away from the determined Philadelphia box league all-star team, (USA), 7-4 in its semi-final which proved the tournament’s best match. Host club LCC Radotin, holders of the Memorial title throughout its eight year history, had to settle for a share of third place after falling behind LCJM early in the other semi-final and never threatening their league rivals who drove to an 11-6 win. Despite Jizni Mesto’s heroics, they were outmatched in the final as REBEL easily dismantled their 2001 nemesis 14-7 to take the 2002 HBA title.

Though Sunday’s semis and final were awesome matches, the tournament was highlighted by Saturday night’s All-Star game under the lights which featured standouts from the international teams allied against the best of the Czech league. It was an impressive performance by all that filled the stadium with an electric atmosphere and hinted at lacrosse’s potential to be a big-time professional sport in the Czech Republic. The Czech stars thrilled the crowd in posting a 12-6 win. In addition to Saturday’s All-Star match, fans were treated to exhibitions of all levels of youth lacrosse in the CR, starting with pre-schoolers practicing “pop lacrosse”, and culminating with an exhibition of high school box lacrosse. Dancing majorettes and an amazing fireworks display capped what was a memorable evening of lax action.

The 2002 Memorial also witnessed the second annual Prazska Teplarenska box lacrosse cup featuring the three youth box lacrosse teams in the Czech Republic. The final matched up Prague rivals LCJM and LCC Radotin, with hosts LCC prevailing 3-1 in a goaltender’s duel. Lacrosse organizers are extremely pleased to see the game taking root amongst youngsters here and are confident that Czech and world lax will benefit from the growing popularity of youth lacrosse.

Host club LCC would like to thank all participants for making the 2002 HBA Cup a fantastic event! We would also like to send a special shout out to team USA and REBEL players who not only put on a Friday clinic for the youth players, but also gave away loads of sticks, equipment and other lax gear to the kids–a vital impetus to local efforts to grow lacrosse which are thwarted by the lack of any lacrosse store or outfitter on the continent. Cheers to these fine gentlemen and great ambassadors of the sport.

Individual Awards

  • Best Goalie-Jiri Malina (LCJM)

  • Best Offensive Player- Jeff Wills (REBEL)

  • Best Defensive Player- Dave Sturiano (REBEL)

  • MVP- Josef Ondracek (LCJM)

Final Standings

  1. REBEL

  2. LC Jizni Mesto

  3. USA

  4. LCC Radotin

  5. TJ Malesice

  6. VFK Berlince

  7. LCC Radotin B

  8. German National Team

  9. LC Passau