Joe Gaiter: What does lacrosse mean to you?
Kyle Richardson: Lacrosse to me was an escape from reality. All of the stresses of life just disappeared for me once I picked up a Lacrosse stick. Lacrosse was that escape I needed to finish college.
Joe Gaiter: What is your untold story.
Kyle Richardson:I struggled with clinical depression for most of my college experience. I was diagnosed during my Sophomore year and I knew that despite this mental obstacle, I wanted to graduate on time. I completed multiple therapy sessions and overcame my mental battles. Thanks to Morehouse College’s mental health department, I was even able to complete 24 academic credit hours in my last semester and earned a B average semester GPA.
Joe Gaiter: did you grow up and how was your childhood?
Kyle Richardson:I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, then I moved to Beaufort, South Carolina for three years when I was in the fourth grade. Then I moved to Houston, Texas for the remainder of my grade school years. My childhood was pretty good, my mother made sure I had exactly what I needed even if it meant she had to sacrifice something of her own. My grandfather Alvin Richardson Sr. took on the role as my father and we have been inseparable since my birth. I always played sports as a child, but it was mostly football. I played middle linebacker because my idol was Ray Lewis from the Baltimore Ravens. I always played with that warrior mentality and took all of my frustrations from life onto the field. I played with that mentality throughout my years at Morehouse College.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about getting your high school diploma and getting your associates degree from Lone Star College at the same time?
Kyle Richardson:It was definitely challenging and the dual enrollment program prohibited me from participating in team sports. I sacrificed a lot to pursue the accelerated academic track, but I knew the work would pay off in the end. The workload was insane but it prepared me for the amount of studying required at a four year institution. I watched my mother struggle to provide a good life for me, so I wanted to be able to do the same for her as soon as possible..
Joe Gaiter: Why did you choose Morehouse?
Kyle Richardson:I met my mentor Dr. Floyd Adkins when I was in middle school and he is a very proud Morehouse Man. He expressed to me how Morehouse taught him how to become a better man, not just a better student. With the absence of my father, I wanted to ensure that I carry myself with the utmost professionalism and confidence. I knew that Morehouse college would teach me all of the life lessons that a young Black man needs to become successful in corporate America.
Joe Gaiter: What has been your contribution to the Morehouse Lacrosse team?
Kyle Richardson:I was able to secure the team 2 sponsorships that contributed to the team’s season budget. I drafted multiple documents to corporations to get funding or discounts on Lacrosse equipment to supplement the lack of funding. I was the Vice president of organizational affairs and was one of the starting forwards for the team, along with Marcus Thompson (Team Capt.) and Cai Johnson (Team President).
Joe Gaiter: Explain Lacrosse for those who haven’t watched a game.
Kyle Richardson:Lacrosse is basically a mixture of soccer rules and full on football caliber contact. The goal of the game is to score as many goals in the net as possible, while still following soccer regulations. There are offsides, games could be played in 2 halves of 4 quarters(just depends on the league), and players can only pick up the ball with a netted lacrosse stick. Defensive players have longer lacrosse sticks and the goal has a butterfly net looking lacrosse stick. The modified sticks make it harder for the office to score goals, thus making the offense rely on playcalling.
Joe Gaiter: What kind of training do Lacrosse players go through?
Kyle Richardson:A Lot of cardio conditioning and fundamental skill building. Without the fundamentals of Lacrosse, such as basic catching on the run, throwing, scoring, the game can not be played successfully. The play calling is similar to basketball plays such as the incorporation of screens and pick and rolls. Team chemistry plays a big role in a winning lacrosse team because it helps you anticipate where your teammate will be on the field before he even gets there.
Joe Gaiter: What is your advice to the 2021 team?
Kyle Richardson:Keep playing physical!!! We were known throughout the conference as the hard hitting team from the south, please keep that tradition going. Continue to reach out to our sponsors and build those relationships. Remember that we came to Morehouse for an education first, Lacrosse is second when it comes to priorities.
Joe Gaiter: What is next for your Lacrosse career?
Kyle Richardson:Been interested in teaching youth Lacrosse to southern Black communities. I believe that the sport is not as big in the Southern African American community due to sport’s expenses. I believe I could advocate for the sport through youth clinics with organizations such as the Atlanta Blaze or the Georgia Swarm.
Joe Gaiter: How have you overcome adversity?
Kyle Richardson:Each semester was a struggle to find funding for my tuition. It would come down to the final days before add/drop and God would approve another loan from a family member. This really tested my faith and made me realize how serious a college education is. Too many people take this experience for granted and I knew that this was my best shot at creating generational wealth. I never wanted to see my mother stress over another bill or payment ever again.
Joe Gaiter: What is your major and how do you plan on using it?
Kyle Richardson:I am an English major and I plan on attending law school after I walk for graduation in December. I also plan on searching for legal job opportunities in Houston.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about your photography business?
Kyle Richardson:It started freshman year of college just to give myself some pocket change. I hated asking my mom to send money for me to go to the movies and I could find a job within walking distance of the school. I started doing portraits and graduation shoots for students around the AUC and after two years of professional practice, I was signed to Creative Classics Agency (CCA) as a HBCU Ambasador. I was responsible for artist music video production and photo shoots for Grammy nominated artists such as James Fortune and Kierra Sheard. I developed a love for photography that has now gone deeper than money.
Joe Gaiter: What is your motivation?
Kyle Richardson:My motivation has always been to become financially sufficient so I could help my family. When you see your family stressed over bills and Christmas seasons, it makes you want to work as hard as possible to change the future. I want to be able to buy my mother a new car without any financial distress.