Interview with Rochester’s John Grant Jr.

In our next session with the Stars of the NLL, we had a chance to speak with the most feared scorer in the league, John Grant Jr. He is without a doubt the premier player in the game today, playing with the Rochester Knighthawks. John was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for us.

GM: When did you start playing the game of lacrosse?

JG: I started playing when I came out of the womb.

GM: Your father was a legend in the game. What was the best advice he ever gave you to help you play the game at the level you do?

JG: He always told me to work hard and the rest will come naturally.

GM: You are considered the top offensive player in the game today. Tell the kids out there what you do to stay at the top of your game.

JG: The only way to be your best is to practice. I constantly had the stick in my hands when I was younger. I still keep the stick with me at all times. Luckily no holes in the walls at the moment.

GM: Describe your experience being a part of the World Field Championship team in 2006.

JG: Winning the worlds will go down as one of my greatest achievements. The US has been so dominant; it was great that we could show the world that we were more than great INDOOR players, but that we are the BEST lacrosse players.

GM: Describe your experience playing Field Lacrosse and attending school in Delaware.

JG: Being part of the NCAA experience was absolutely incredible. Those three years were a great learning experience and an awesome time. I am so glad that lacrosse afforded me the opportunity to get a top notch education.

GM: Do you prefer the box or field game?

JG: I prefer box lacrosse because I find it faster and more exciting. I also prefer it because I have been playing it since I was a little kid. Field lacrosse still feels new to me so it can be frustrating at times.

GM: Do you find any difference at all between the Major Series Summer Lacrosse and the NLL game?

JG: The NLL is much faster than the MSL. There is so much more hype surrounding a game of the week season. One game playoffs are a lot more hair-raising as well. You can’t help but give credit to the MSL though, three 7 game series can really take its toll on you.

GM: This season you scored 15 points in a game breaking the old record (shared by Keenan, Gait and Malawsky). Describe the feeling of being the company of those names.

JG: Awards and records are okay but there is no greater feeling than handing a trophy off to your team mates as you celebrate a championship.

GM: What one award, championship or accomplishment in the game of lacrosse are you most proud of?

JG: I am most proud of the 04 Mann Cup, it was my first major win and it came when I wasn’t even medically cleared to play. The championship came 6 months after major knee surgery.

GM: What are your thoughts on the old five men up the floor and five men back lacrosse? Would you go back to it if you had the choice?

JG: I enjoyed the iron man style of lacrosse; I played that way all the way up. I think it would add a faster dimension to the game but it would limit the amount of time your pure goal scorers could showcase their magic.

GM: What drives you to be the best player on the floor?

JG: I am never happy with my play. Even the night I had 15 points, i was still disappointed because I should have had a lot more that night. I will not be satisfied until I play a perfect game.

As we do with all of our guests, we have a few fun questions for you now.

GM: Many other players have told us that you are the best in the game. Give us two or three players you feel are among the best.

JG: There is no doubt that Gary Gait was the best lacrosse player in the world. There is no comparison to him. His brother Paul is the only one close.

GM: What opposing goalie do you have the most trouble scoring on?

JG: Believe it or not, I have the most trouble scoring on my own goalie Patty O’Toole. He knows where I am shooting before I do. To make practices worse I have the toughest defender knocking me around as well: Reggie Thorpe is a monster.

GM: John Grant’s favourite shot is………

JG: My favourite shot is the next one; you never know where it may come from.

GM: If you could sit and talk with any sports person, past or present, who would you choose?

JG: If I could sit down and talk to any athlete it would have to be the great one, Wayne Gretzky. I would love to gain insight into how he was able to dominate for so long.

GM: John thanks for your time.

JG: Thank you.

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