Doctor Pat Maddalena of the NY Titans

This week we have another double header of “Ask The Pro’s”.  Today we are speaking with the New York Titans’ Pat Maddalena.  Pat is a graduate of Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.  After spending the last few seasons in Arizona with the Sting, Pat was picked up by New York during this past off season. In his “real job”, Pat is a Chiropractor, the first and only Doctor to actually play in the NLL. While juggling the time demands of school and Pro Lacrosse may almost seem impossible to many, Pat was determined to succeed at both. Pat’s practice “City Chiropractic” is located in Buffalo, New York.

GM: Describe your lacrosse experience growing up (where and when did you start), and tell us who some of your early influences were?

PM: I started playing lacrosse in Pelham Ontario at the age of seven. Jeff Whaley, Kevin Borgatti and my father were my early influences

GM: What stars did you look up to when you were younger?

PM: John Tavares, the Gait brothers and Tom Marachek.

GM: You played Junior in Burlington, which has a long standing lacrosse tradition. Who do you feel helped you most in your Junior years (players, coaches, or other).

PM: Jim Brady and Shawn Wilkins (a line mate). Had I scored on half of my breakaways Shawn would have broke an OLA assist record…lol…he would agree.

GM: In 1996 you were honored as Outstanding Rookie in the Ontario Lacrosse Junior A Series. Four years later (2000) you won the Top Rookie in the Western Lacrosse Series in BC. Not too many can say they’ve done that. Speak a little about how you feel you earned those awards.

PM: Obviously great honors that I am extremely proud of. I am extremely happy about being on the WLA trophy that has such names as John Tavares, Paul Gait, and Josh Sanderson to mention a few.

GM: After Junior you went to British Columbia to play your Senior Lacrosse. What made you decide to leave Ontario to go play for New Westminster?

PM: Frank Nielson who was the head coach out there recruited quit heavily when I was on the Bandits. In addition a number of Salmonbellies were playing for the bandits so that made the decision easy.

GM: You scored the first ever goal in Arizona Sting history. What was the feeling in the building on that first night?

PM: I remember talking to Pete Lough after the anthem and told him how pumped up I was because to that date even playing in Buffalo that was the largest home crowd I played in front of. In addition my Parents and fiancée at the time were at the game.

GM: Were you a little surprised that you were not protected by Arizona in the expansion draft?

PM: No, I kindly asked to be traded back east because of family and career obligations so it did not surprise me. I will always remember the great time I had in Arizona and appreciate the opportunity that the entire organization gave me both as a player and letting me go in the expansion draft.

GM: So this year you’re playing for the expansion New York Titans. You had to have been thrilled when you played your first game in Madison Square Garden. Describe that experience.

PM: There is no other feeling like it playing in that arena. It is the most famous sports arena in the world and was truly exciting to play there. From Pelham Ontario to MSG has been an amazing and improbable ride.

GM: Similar to Chicago, your team has been in every game this season and never losing a game by more than 4 goals. It appears that New York has a bright lacrosse future in the coming years.

PM: I am very confident in the core of players we have and coaching staff as a whole. I feel that as long as we improve every weekend and build on the game before we will be in the playoffs really soon.

GM: While many athletes have chosen the US Collegiate route, you remained in Canada and graduated from Brock University. Speak about your decision to stay in Canada and your time at Brock.

PM: Actually I accepted a scholarship at Butler University in Indiana for one year then decided to come home and pursue junior hockey. Along the way the Buffalo Bandits drafted me and I worked hard to try to make the team and got lucky to get an opportunity to play at a young age. I am extremely proud to have played at Brock because of the great tradition the Badgers lacrosse program has.

GM: I’m sure many people know that you are the only Doctor in the history of the NLL, having recently become a Chiropractor. Your time commitments during those school years along with lacrosse must have been a strain. What advice would you give to kids looking to try to do both as well?

PM: My advice to kids is to have fun along the way, if the sports schedule gets too demanding; they should remember that school always comes first. That was a principle that my parents instilled in me at an early age. More importantly have fun in anything that you do, nothing should feel like a chore no matter how busy you get. One other thing that helped me get through such a difficult schedule was time management skills. Just be organized, work hard and you can achieve anything.

GM: By lacrosse standards you are not a “big guy”. What do you feel has helped you to be so successful given the size of many of today’s players?

PM: Speed and dedication to fitness. To succeed at this level being a smaller guy I have to be quicker, faster and stronger than the next guy.

GM: Give us one Personal accomplishment as well as one Team accomplishment you are most proud of.

PM: Personal accomplishment by far was witnessing the birth of my daughter Jaylee Theresa on December 18th, 2006. Team accomplishment…There has been a few, winning the 1999 championship at Brock, 2002 silver medal in Australia and winning with the Bandits in Maple Leaf Garden have been some.

Fun Questions

GM: What is your favorite place to play lacrosse (other than Madison Square or Nassau Coliseum)?

PM: Excel Center in Minnesota by far, it is an amazing arena.

GM: I’m proud to tell everyone that I play Fantasy Lacrosse and have you on my team (currently 4-3 in 3rd place overall). Do you or any of the other players that you know follow Fantasy Lacrosse at NLL.com?

PM: I do not, but I know my buddies in Arizona Dan Dawson and Andy Secore are constantly looking at that stuff. I believe that they each pick themselves if I remember correctly.

GM: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from lacrosse?

PM: Not much free time any more but when I do I love to golf and do home improvements especially painting.

GM: Who is the best player you’ve ever played with and against?

PM: Best player I ever played with by far John Tavares and against is probably Anthony Cosmo (tough guy to score on, has been since junior)

GM: If you could interview any sports legend past or present, who would it be and what would your first question be?

PM: Tiger Woods. I would like to ask him how many majors is his true goal to end his career. I bet it is in the 30’s somewhere.

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