(CBS Local)-- Marie McCool is one of the best lacrosse players in the world and she will have the opportunity to show everyone just how good she is in a brand new professional women's lacrosse league called Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse. The league will airs one of its games each week on CBS Sports Network.
CBS Local's DJ Sixsmith chatted with McCool ahead of this weekend's games to discuss the new and innovative way that lacrosse is being played, the importance of the growth of the game for the next generation and her favorite memories from winning a championship at the University of North Carolina in 2016.
"It's been truly incredible. I was able to catch some softball and volleyball when they first launched and it made me even more excited to be a part of Athletes Unlimited for the first inaugural season of lacrosse," said McCool. "My favorite part so far is being able to play at a high level and be around some of my best friends and build even more relationships. We are all in the same hotel and we get to interact with each other a lot. It's been great to see familiar faces and meet some new friends."
One of the interesting wrinkles about Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse is that players rack up their own individual scores based on their performance and their team's performance. Through one week, McCool has 315 points, which puts her in the top 20 overall. The field has been made a little smaller for this league and the quarters a little shorter in order to keep the action moving.
"To do it differently is something we are experiencing now with the points system and our teams changing every week," said McCool. "This is a new experience for all of us and we are all learning along the way with what works and doesn't work. With lacrosse being a team sport, we are used to building that chemistry and playing with the same people, so it was different. Something I really enjoy is being able to play with different people each week and what are the best combinations."
The 2016 NCAA national champion has been playing lacrosse since she was a young girl and one of the most exciting things for McCool is to be a role model to the next generation of lacrosse players, especially because she didn't have any lacrosse role models to look to when she was younger.
"I was asked the other day who is your lacrosse role model and I couldn't really answer it because when I was at a young age, I was never able to watch it on TV until after I committed to UNC and it was livestreams with one camera livestreaming the game on a random website. Just seeing how people look up to us and the college game this year has made me super proud of where our sport has grown over the years and we have a really long way to go."
Watch Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse on CBS Sports Network.
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