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Bobby Kidd III is No Longer The Black Sheep

Angela Chow was a single mom who raised her son, Bobby Kidd III, to be proud (and knowledgeable) about his black and Chinese heritage. This empowered Kidd III to handle racist encounters throughout his youth and helped transform him into the person and lacrosse player he is today.

Kidd III, who is half-black and half-Chinese, grew up in, as he put it, the middle to lower-middle-class melting pot in Port Moody, British Columbia. He was just like everyone else because no one had the same background. But, as he got older and started playing youth lacrosse with more white kids, Kidd III began to find it more challenging to be accepted. Kids would treat him like an outcast and call him names, but Kidd III knew this would happen.

It was important to Kidd III’s mother that he knew about his history and what his people had gone through to allow him the opportunity to live the life he was living. She would have him learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and all he endured in his fight for an equal world for black people. She would supplement his learning with her words of wisdom about how he might be treated by having a unique background.

“I wouldn’t take these too personally because I understood that sometimes hate can come from a place of not really understanding something,” Kidd III said. “Kids didn’t really do many really bad things, but it was more of a lot of jokes here and there.”

“I think many people can relate to being the black sheep of the group. You have eyes on you no matter what you’re doing.”

When Kidd III was playing in the Port Moody minor lacrosse system, he was blessed to have motivating and supportive coaches around him. They filled the void that had been ever-present in Kidd III’s youth because his biological father wasn’t there for him. Coaches Will Patterson, Ron Barker, and Todd Miller not only taught Kidd III how to play the game but how to play it with heart and passion. Coach Patterson and his wife Dana would even give Kidd III rides to practices or games if his mom couldn’t. Without their involvement in Kidd III’s life, he may not have had the desire to want to continue on his lacrosse journey.

In his high school years, Kidd III once again had the privilege of being coached by men that would help shape him into the man he would become, most notably, his lacrosse coach Ian Radonich. Radonich was one of the most influential figures in Kidd III’s life. Not only was Radonich a spirited, tell-it-like-it-is coach when Kidd III played for him during his time at Centennial Secondary School in Coquitlam, B.C., but Radonich would spend countless hours in the library with Kidd III, tutoring his young player and making sure his grades were up to snuff.

Even during his college years, Kidd III found men that were willing to give him the guidance and direction he needed to continue building his love and confidence in lacrosse. In his early collegiate years at Cleveland State University, Kidd III was starting to get that feeling of being a black sheep. The program wasn’t a right fit for him, and lacrosse was becoming a physical and mental burden. It got so bad at one point that Kidd III considered quitting lacrosse for a lengthy but undetermined amount of time. After a brief hiatus, he decided to play for Forrest MacConnell’s Young Harris College team. How Head Coach MacConnell led his players reignited Kidd III’s love for the game and got him back on track to pursuing a future in lacrosse.

No matter where he went, Kidd III was never without a guiding light. His coaches were not only great leaders of men, but they were also pseudo-father figures (something you often hear about some of the best coaches in sports). Even when it seemed like nothing was going right, Kidd III’s coaches kept him focused and, most importantly, thinking positively.

“I’ve had an amazing support system with faculty and staff everywhere I’ve gone,” Kidd III said. “Even though there were many negative experiences along the way, the positives outweighed them.”

This didn’t change once Kidd III made his dream of becoming an NLL player a reality. He was selected in the 2nd round (26th overall) by the Saskatchewan Rush in the 2020 NLL Entry Draft. Despite being drafted by a team located in a province where the population, according to 2021 Canadian Census data, is 2% black and 1.6% Chinese – you can imagine how many half-black and half-Chinese people there are – Kidd has never felt out of place.

“Rush Nation is absolutely phenomenal,” Kidd III said. “I’ve never been part of anything like this or seen anything like this. It seems like race, or anything else, is the last thing on their minds; they just care about their sport and care about their athletes.”

In two seasons with the Rush, Kidd, 24, has already established himself as one of the most versatile and athletic players on the Rush defense. Through Week 12 of this season, Kidd III is one of nine defensemen in the NLL to have recorded 40+ loose ball recoveries, more than 10 caused turnovers, 5+ blocked shots, and 5+ points. He already has two more blocked shots than he had all of last season, and he is also on pace for 25 CTOs this year, which would beat his rookie season total of 17 CTOs.

Kidd III is part of the youth movement on defense. He is one of four defensemen on the Rush who are 27 years old (or younger) that has also played in every game this season – Kidd III is the youngest of the bunch. Kidd III is also playing for the youngest coach in the NLL, Jimmy Quinlan, 41.

The Port Moody native is loving playing for Quinlan. Kidd III quickly mentioned that his head coach doesn’t just care about the Xs and Os or the team’s results. Quinlan is a players’ coach. He is the kind of leader who cares about his guys on and off the floor. It couldn’t be a better match for Kidd III. He has already expressed profound gratitude and respect for the men who have guided him in his life. Quinlan is definitely cut from the same cloth as those men.

Backed by his coaches, teammates, and Rush Nation, Kidd III feels right at home as a member of the Saskatchewan Rush. Gone are the days when he was questioning whether or not playing lacrosse was what he was meant to be doing with his life. Kidd III is a lacrosse player and a proud son.

Thanks to his mother and the many coaches he’s had throughout his playing career Kidd III is no longer the black sheep of his team(s). On the contrary, he is on his way to becoming the leader of the flock.

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