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10 Years Later: Returning to Harlem Lacrosse

Sports Matter Celebrates 10 Years with Harlem Lacrosse

10 Years Later: Returning to Harlem Lacrosse

Sports Matter Celebrates 10 Years with Harlem Lacrosse

Published 06-13-24

Submitted by DICK'S Sporting Goods

Originally published on DICK'S Sporting Goods Sideline Report

A lot can change in a decade. When The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation first visited Harlem Lacrosse in 2014, Dyjae Pearson and Jordany Baltazar were just teenagers looking for guidance in a life surrounded by chaos. They found that structure in Harlem Lacrosse and their coach, Joel Censer.

Now ten years later, they view Harlem Lacrosse and coach Censer as the main catalysts for their successful lives.

“I was never a bad kid,” said Pearson. “I was just falling victim to the environment I was in.”

After being featured in the original Sports Matter video that showcases the impact Harlem Lacrosse has in students’ lives, Pearson became more determined to grow beyond his surroundings and find success outside of Harlem.

“Now I’m a dual sport Division 1 athlete and college graduate, someone with a master’s degree and someone selected to play for the United States Virgin Islands national lacrosse team,” said Pearson.

Understanding the meaningful role Harlem Lacrosse had in his life, Pearson teamed up again with Baltazar to surprise their old coach with a game-changing message.

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Dyjae Pearson (L), coach Joel Censer (M), and Jordany Baltazar (R) reunited to celebrate the continued impact of The DICK’S Foundation on Harlem Lacrosse.

To celebrate The DICK’S Foundation’s 10th anniversary, Baltazar and Pearson showed up to a recent practice, where they presented the program with a $100,000 Sports Matter grant and new gear for the entire Harlem Lacrosse team.

If you ask Baltazar, the money couldn’t be in better hands.

“One of the biggest things that Harlem Lacrosse provided was guidance,” said Baltazar. “Our success comes from what we’ve learned from coach Censer. He passed it on to us, and we will pass it on to the next generation.”

In addition to lacrosse instruction, Harlem Lacrosse seeks to provide opportunities, relationships, and experiences that activate the skills and traits that put youth on a path to success as students, athletes, and citizens.

The $100,000 grant won’t just make an impact in Harlem. Over the years, the program has grown exponentially.

“Ten years ago, I was one of three employees,” said Censer. “Now, there are 65 employees and Harlem Lacrosse serves around 1,300 students in five major cities nationwide. I feel blessed and lucky to be part of this.”

To learn more about The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, visit

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Dyjae Pearson credits Harlem Lacrosse with creating his path to becoming a college graduate.


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DICK'S Sporting Goods

DICK'S Sporting Goods

Founded in 1948, DICK'S Sporting Goods is a leading omni-channel sporting goods retailer offering an extensive assortment of authentic, high-quality sports equipment, apparel, footwear and accessories. As of October 30, 2021, the Company operated 734 DICK'S Sporting Goods locations across the United States, serving and inspiring athletes and outdoor enthusiasts to achieve their personal best through a combination of its dedicated teammates, in-store services and unique specialty shop-in-shops dedicated to Team Sports, Athletic Apparel, Golf, Outdoor, Fitness and Footwear.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, DICK'S also owns and operates Golf Galaxy, Field & Stream and Public Lands specialty stores, as well as GameChanger, a youth sports mobile app for scheduling, communications, live scorekeeping and video streaming. DICK'S offers its products through a dynamic eCommerce platform that is integrated with its store network and provides athletes with the convenience and expertise of a 24-hour storefront.

For more information, visit the Investor Relations page at

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