November 6, 2012

Give & Go: MLL, NLL, Team USA Star Joe Walters

by Matt Forman | | Twitter

Winning an NLL title with the Rochester Knighthawks last spring tops the list of Joe Walters' proudest lacrosse moments.
© John Strohsacker/

Maryland's all-time leading scorer and former No. 1 pick of MLL's Rochester Rattlers adapted his game to win an NLL championship with the Rochester Knighthawks. He explains that, and more, in November's Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription.

Who's your favorite athlete?
Michael Jordan. He's a great example of hard work paying off. He didn't make his varsity basketball team as a sophomore, but he didn't give up. Turns out, he was the greatest basketball player ever.

What's one thing you can't live without?
My iPhone. It's not that I can't live without it; I've gotten so used to living with it. It keeps me connected, and it's so functional. Social networks, emails, phone calls, texts, plus checking scores or the weather.

What's one thing that always puts you in a good mood?
Nice weather. Sunny, 77 degrees and no humidity is perfection. On the other side, there's nothing that puts you in a bad mood quite like a rainy day.

Where did you go on your last vacation?
I went with my girlfriend to New York City for a weekend. We went shopping and hung out, and we went to the Yankees-Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium. I'm a Yankees fan, and it was a sold-out crowd on ESPN.

What's one thing lacrosse really needs?
To be a full-time professional sport, on the same level as other big sports. Once that happens, it will completely change the game. The exposure isn't quite there for the pro game. Once guys are making enough money for it to be a serious full-time job, everything will change. Hopefully that happens in my lifetime — though it probably won't while I'm a player.

It's 2022 — Where are you and what are you doing?
In Rochester, New York. Hopefully married and coaching my kids in lacrosse. My family is here, and I grew up here. I play and work for the Rochester Knighthawks, and I'd like to stay in the game and help spread the sport I love.

What's been the proudest moment of your lacrosse career?
Winning the NLL championship in 2012. I've been to final fours and ACC championships, and I've won championships with the Rochester Rattlers and Hamilton Nationals, but I never cried after those. Winning the NLL championship was the first time I ever cried. That shows how much it meant to me. I couldn't help the emotion. It was such a bumpy road — the adversity I faced made it that much sweeter. It was my fourth indoor season, and the previous three years were very up and down, mostly down. I wasn't very good at it. I thought about quitting, but it's not really in my nature. Making sacrifice and working hard, adapting to the indoor game was very rewarding.

What did you want to be when you were younger?
My dad was a doctor, so I was always around the hospital seeing patients. If he picked me up at school and went back to the hospital, I would tag along. But I was always into sports. I played basketball up until college.

Who would play the role of you in a movie?
That's tough. I would play myself.

You only have one meal left. What do you eat?
A home-cooked meal. My mom's secret recipe: chicken drumsticks with rice and a special sauce. That's been a favorite of mine since I was a kid.


(from Ohio State goalie Greg Dutton): If you could be in the Olympics for any event, what would it be?
Handball. I love it. It's a great sport. I remember playing it in gym class, and I always had a lot of fun playing. It's pretty much lacrosse and basketball wrapped into one. If you gave me six months to train, I bet I could play competitively.

Double Overtime

(from Woody Franklin in England): Who's the best lacrosse player you've played with or against?
Casey Powell, John Grant Jr. and Brodie Merrill. Casey is one of my childhood idols. I always looked up to him, and then I got to play with him, which was really cool. He's one of the greatest of all-time. And Junior is probably the greatest Knighthawk ever. I used to watch him in high school, and I've gotten to play with him a bunch. It's tough to play with him, because you want to sit back and watch. He's an unbelievable player. Brodie is one of the best defensemen ever. There's no one like him. He's got an offensive mindset. He can run all day, and he's always hawking you. It's automatic that he picks it up off the ground.

Pose a question for our next subject.
If you won $10 million, what would you do with it?

Sumbit a Double Overtime Question


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