From ball boy to NLL champion: Tehoka Nanticoke has special history with the Bandits

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tehoka Nanticoke has been a Buffalo Bandit since 2021. However, his relationship with the organization goes further back than just three years ago.

Nanticoke was born on Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. He grew up a Bandits fan, serving as the team’s ball boy when he was young. His love for the game stems from his brother, Chancey Hill.

“My brother taught me everything I know about the game today. He has pushed me my entire life,” Nanticoke said.

As Nanticoke grew older, he gained more recognition from scouts and lacrosse programs around the country. He was first recruited to play at IMG Academy, a preparatory boarding school in Florida that specializes in sports training. From there, he committed to play college lacrosse at the University of Albany.

Nanticoke was a highly sought out prospect. In 2017, he was named the top prospect in all of college lacrosse. The next step in his career was painfully obvious for many, and that was professional lacrosse. That dream came true for Nanticoke in 2021 when he was drafted by the Bandits third overall.

“The experience was next to none. I got to spend [the draft] with my mother and my brother. It was just a dream,” he said.

Nanticoke’s history with the organization has allowed him to cultivate a special relationship with former player and now head coach John Tavares. “It’s a dream [playing for him]. He’s such a great coach,” said Nanticoke.

Nanticoke’s journey to the NLL wasn’t simple, but he reached his dreams of becoming an NLL champion last season when the Bandits defeated the Colorado Mammoth in the NLL finals. Nanticoke and his teammates are looking to find the same ending to this season as they face the Albany FireWolves in the finals, hoping for a second straight title.

WIVB Sports

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Sara Holland is a Sports Anchor/Reporter at News 4. Follow her on Twitter @SaraaHolland and see more of her work here.

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