Dan Dawson of the Portland Lumberjax

Dan DawsonIn the first of our 2008 “Ask A Pro” Interviews, we had a chance to chat with Dan Dawson of the Portland Lumberjax. With the Arizona Sting not entering a team in 2008 Dawson was quickly selected first overall in the dispersal draft by Portland.

In his first game in a Lumberjax jersey this season, he certainly had an immediate impact for his new team, and Portland fans should be excited of what they saw from him in his first game.  While I have not had the pleasure of meeting Dan, he is widely respected in the game for his dedication to the sport, but just as important for his professionalism on and off the floor. For having not started to play lacrosse until he was 12 years old, I’d say he is a true example of what anyone can do with some god given talent, and a whole lot of desire to be the best.

One of Oakville’s native son’s, and an offensive force in the NLL today, enjoy….

GM: At what age did you begin playing lacrosse and where?

DD: I started in grade 6; we didn’t have a minor system in Oakville until I was 12yrs old.

GM: Who do you credit most with learning the game?

DD: Learning the game growing up in Oakville Bruce Donavan played a huge role in my early lacrosse development. He did so much for the Oakville minor system and was great for the game.

GM: Give us your lacrosse hero or two when you were younger.

DD: Hands down the Gaits and JT (John Tavares). Maybe because that was the only 3 names I knew in lacrosse as a kid or maybe because they are the 3 best players to ever play the game.

GM: You’ve won a number of MVP awards, and Championships in OLA Junior and Major Lacrosse. Is there one that you are most proud of?

DD: This past summer representing Canada in Halifax at the World Championships and winning gold is my proudest moment.

GM: What do you think is your best attribute that allows you to be such a force on the lacrosse floor?

DD: I am always striving to become better. Whether it is studying game film, having my stick in my hands all day or working out hard in the weight room. My work ethic is my best attribute.

GM: What advice do you have for kids that aspire to play in the NLL?

DD: Start with a goal and if it is playing the NLL you must believe you can achieve your goal. You must work hard at your game in order to take it to the next level. Be willing to do what the next guy is unwilling to do. Remember hard work is what separates good from great.

GM: How has the adjustment gone so far for you playing in Portland?

DD: It has been an easy adjustment. We have a great organization and team. They have made me feel right at home from day one.

GM: You and Derek (Malawsky) both had an impressive start to the season in your first game, although it didn’t end the way you had hoped I’m sure.

DD: We played a good New York Titians team and they were the better team that night. Stats don’t mean anything to Derek and I; all we care about is winning.

GM: What would you say is your highest point as a lacrosse player to date?

DD: My highest point as a lacrosse player to date was winning the Mann Cup in Victoria 2005. Playing 6 games in 7 nights and not being able to walk normal for a month. Winning the Mann Cup in front of our home fans was something special. I’m going to miss my summers out west that is for sure.

GM: What is the highest compliment you could receive if someone was describing Dan Dawson on the lacrosse floor?

DD: Fun to Watch.

Fun Questions

GM: Name two players; the best player you have ever played with and against.

DD: Played with –
Josh Sanderson’s performance in the 2002 Mann Cup best ever.
Anthony Cosmo 2005 Mann Cup

Played against-
Dan Carey 2006 Mann Cup.
John Grant every game I have ever played against him

GM: Your favourite Arena to play in the NLL (excluding Portland or Arizona) is….

DD: Calgary; it’s a great city on and off the floor (ask any player).

GM: If you could play any other sport at such a high level it would be….

DD: Hockey – Toronto Maple Leafs (just waiting for open tryouts).

GM: What is one thing lacrosse has done for you that you likely would otherwise not have had the chance to do?

DD: Too many things to count. I would say travel the world and see so many great places.

GM: If you could interview any person (sports related or otherwise) in history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you want to ask them?

DD: Nelson Mandela. How did you stay so strong in your fight for freedom?

GM: Dan, thanks for your time

DD: Thank You.

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