BOSTON (CBS) — College lacrosse player Alex Chu has been forced to sit on the bench because there’s no helmet that fits. They just don’t make them big enough for the Wheaton College goalie. But just Monday, we learned there’s finally hope he’ll get back in the game, thanks to a local company.
Chu, a freshman at Wheaton, showed us what happens when he tries to put on the largest lacrosse helmet the school has. “It kind of sits on my head. If I really want to I could pull it down to my ears,” he says. But it definitely won’t go farther than that, and it certainly wouldn’t be comfortable. “My mom always jokes that I was born with a square head which is a little odd, so it’s always been an issue with hats,” he says.
At 6 feet tall and 265 pounds, 19-year-old Alex Chu is a big kid. A star goalkeeper, Alex excelled on his high school lacrosse team, blocking shots and shutting down the offense. He wore a custom made helmet that uses parts of two helmets, joined together, so it fits him. The problem is, the old helmet can’t be certified for college use.
“Currently there is no helmet that’s mass produced and fits my head,” he says. The sad result? “I haven’t been able to play, truthfully.”
Appeals to the major manufacturers asking for a custom helmet haven’t worked. “We feel for Alex. The team and our whole staff is just trying to support him the best that we can,” says Wheaton lacrosse coach Kyle Hart.
“Throughout this whole thing I’ve really wanted to play. This is the longest time since I started lacrosse that I’ve gone without playing,” adds Alex.
But a new, larger helmet might be the answer. It’s called the Burn, made by Warrior, which is owned by Boston based New Balance. Even though it’s not on the market yet, they told WBZ Monday they’re sending Alex an early edition.
“I’m just really excited. The hope is it’s able to fit me,” Alex says. “We would all be thrilled. We’re really looking forward to finding a solution here, and getting him out on the field,” says Coach Hart.
If that helmet doesn’t get Alex off the sidelines, another company that has created a custom made, larger helmet for a player at the University of Albany told WBZ they will reach out to Wheaton College to try and find a solution.