Legends of the Game

In the Fifty-ninth edition of “Legends of the Game” we look at the career of John Grant Jr.

From Wikipedia:

John Christopher Grant Jr. (born November 7, 1974) is a professional lacrosse player who has played in Major League Lacrosse, the National Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association/Western Lacrosse Association, as well as Canada lacrosse. Grant was named men’s lacrosse Offensive Coordinator at Johns Hopkins in 2020.

College Career:

Grant was drafted by the Buffalo Bandits in 1995, but chose not to sign, instead opting to attend college at SUNY Morrisville where he stayed for two years playing for future Yale coach Andy Shay. John transferred to the University of Delaware and played the 1998 and 1999 seasons, again teaming up with Shay who had moved there as an assistant, with the Fighting Blue Hens compiling a 23-8 record during that time.

In 1999, Grant had 56 goals and 54 assists for 110 points, leading the nation in assists and points, setting school records for both categories. He was named the USILA National Collegiate Player of the Year, and was awarded the Jack Turnbull Award as National Attackman of the Year. Grant was Delaware’s first USILA First Team All-American, and led the school to its first ever NCAA quarter-final appearance, as well as its first 14-win season. Victories over perennial lacrosse powers North Carolina, Navy and Towson, plus four other top 20 teams was the highlight of the season.

Grant’s 110-point 1999 season currently ranks tenth on the NCAA Individual Single-Season Leaders list and is 13th in career points per game. He was the last Division I player to average more than 6 points-per-game for an entire season (1999), until Lyle Thompson did this in 2013.

NLL Career:

Re-entering the NLL draft four years later, John was drafted first overall by the Rochester Knighthawks in the 1999 NLL Entry Draft. 

John was named NLL Rookie of the Year for the 2000 season.

Grant holds several franchise records including most goals (347) and most points (719). He is also tied for fifth all-time in goals, third in assists per game and 12th in points in NLL history. He has some of the team’s single-season records too, including: Most goals (54), most assists (60), and most points (111). Grant is also the team’s all-time leader in playoff goals (47) and points (82).

In 2007 John set a National Lacrosse League record with 15 points in a single game (9 goals, 6 assists) in a win over the New York Titans (broken by Mark Steenhuis with 17 on Feb. 14, 2009). After the regular season, was named the 2007 NLL MVP, and then on May 12, 2007, he capped off his extraordinary season by being named Champion’s Cup game MVP, as the Knighthawks defeated the Arizona Sting 13–11 to win their second championship.

On May 25, 2007, Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy awarded Grant the Key to the City in recognition of the Knighthawks’ championship.

John missed the entire 2009 season after having emergency surgery to remove an infection in his knee, but returned in 2010 playing in 15 of his team’s 16 games.

On October 27, 2010, Grant (plus defender Mac Allen) was traded to the Colorado Mammoth in exchange for 2010 NLL Goaltender of the Year Matt Vinc, plus transition players Matt Zash and Brad Self.  Draft picks were also exchanged in the trade. The Knighthawks said they executed the trades to alleviate the effects of an aging roster.

After a strong debut season with the Mammoth in which he scored 83 points (matching his 2010 total), Grant had one of the best years of his career in 2012. He scored his 1000th career point in January and his 500th career goal in March, set a new NLL record with 116 points in a season, and was named MVP for the second time in his career.

John continued playing in Colorado until his retirement from the NLL in 2017.

MLL career:

John played for the Rochester Rattlers in their inaugural season in 2001, and finished second in the league with 59 points (41 goals, 3 two-pointers, 15 assists) in 14 games, also being named an MLL All-Star and earned league Offensive Player of the Year honors.

After not playing in the league from 2002 through 2004, Grant returned to the Rattlers for the 2005 season.

In 2007, John broke the league’s single-season points record with 71 points, was named Offensive Player of the Year for the second time, and was awarded the Major League Lacrosse MVP Award.  2008 had Grant lead the league in scoring with 64 points (47 goals, 4 two-pointers, 13 assists) and was named the 2008 Bud Light Major League Lacrosse Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row. The Rattlers went on to win the MLL Championship in with a 16-6 defeat of Denver. This was the first MLL title for the Rattlers.

The Rattlers franchise and roster transferred to Toronto, to become the Toronto Nationals in 2009.

On June 14, 2011, it was announced that John was traded to the Long Island Lizards for a second-round draft pick in the 2012 Collegiate draft (which would become a 4th-round pick if he did not report).  The Nationals general manager Jody Gage (the same GM who traded Grant away from the Knighthawks) cited a desire to go with a younger roster as a factor in the trade decision.

John was then traded to the Chesapeake Bayhawks in February of 2012, and to the Denver Outlaws in 2014.  The Ohio Machine was John’s next stop after being traded in June, 2016 following a 2–6 start to the Outlaws’ season.  In the Machine’s final game of the regular season, Grant Jr. scored ten goals in a huge victory over the New York Lizards, clinching a playoff berth for the Machine and becoming the first MLL player to score 10 goals in a game.

John helped the Machine get to their first championship game that summer.  In that game the Machine surrendered a huge lead, finally losing 19–18 in a weather delayed game.  

John Grant Jr. at 42, announced his retirement from the league on April 19, 2017.

Return From Retirement:

John Grant Jr. announced on May 27, 2019, that he would return to the playing field for the Denver Outlaws. He had already spent the last two years as an assistant coach for the the team, but would step into a player-coach role for the 2019 summer. At 44, Grant Jr. would become the oldest active player in Major League Lacrosse.  He entered the season only needing five points to surpass Paul Rabil as the all-time leading scorer in MLL history, and hit that target on June 9 in an 18–16 win over the Atlanta Blaze.

OLA/WLA career:

John began his Ontario Lacrosse Association career with the Peterborough Lakers in the OLA Junior A Lacrosse League. He was named the OLA Junior A Lacrosse League Most Valuable Player in 1994, and was the league’s top scorer in 1993, 1994, and 1995.

In 1995, Grant moved up to Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) with the Peterborough Lakers, where he won the Rookie of the Year award, and in 2000, Grant won the MSL Most Valuable Player award.

In 2002 and 2003, Grant moved west, playing in the Western Lacrosse Association with the Coquitlam Adanacs, earning All-Star recognition.

Grant came back to the Peterborough Lakers in 2004 and led the team to a Mann Cup victory, earning the Mike Kelley Memorial Trophy as the competition’s Most Valuable Player. In 2006 and 2007, Grant again won the Mann Cup as a member of the Lakers, earning his second Mann Cup MVP in 2007. 2010 had Grant and the Lakers win the Mann Cup once again.

International Lacrosse Career:

• 1998 World Lacrosse Championship, Silver medal

• 2002 Heritage Cup, Silver medal

• 2002 World Lacrosse Championship, Silver medal

• 2003 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, Gold medal

• 2004 Heritage Cup, Gold medal

• 2006 World Lacrosse Championship, Gold medal

• 2007 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, Gold medal

• 2010 World Lacrosse Championships, Silver medal

• 2011 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, Gold medal

Coaching career:

Grant has served as player-coach for the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse. He was named men’s lacrosse Offensive Coordinator at Johns Hopkins in 2020.

Accomplishments:

• 1994 OLA Junior A Most Valuable Player

• 1995 MSL Rookie of the Year

• 1999 USILA National Collegiate Player of the Year

• 1999 National Collegiate Attackman of the Year

• 2000 NLL Rookie of the Year

• 2000 MSL Most Valuable Player

• 2001 MLL Offensive Player of the Year

• 2003 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship Champions (Canada)

• 2004 Heritage Cup Champions (Canada)

• 2004 Mann Cup Champions (Peterborough Lakers)

• 2004 Mann Cup Most Valuable Player

• 2006 World Lacrosse Championship Champions (Canada)

• 2006 World Lacrosse Championship- All World Team

• 2006 Mann Cup Champion (Peterborough Lakers)

• 2007 NLL Most Valuable Player

• 2007 NLL Champions Cup Champion (Rochester Knighthawks)

• 2007 NLL Champions Cup Most Valuable Player

• 2007 World Lacrosse Championships Champion (Canada)

• 2007 MLL Offensive Player of the Year

• 2007 MLL Most Valuable Player

• 2007 Mann Cup Champion (Peterborough Lakers)

• 2007 Mann Cup Most Valuable Player

• 2008 MLL Offensive Player of the Year

• 2008 MLL Most Valuable Player

• 2008 MLL Steinfeld Cup Champion (Rochester Rattlers)

• 2009 MLL Steinfeld Cup Champion (Toronto Nationals)

• 2010 Mann Cup Champion (Peterborough Lakers)

• 2010 World Lacrosse Championship- All World Team (Top Attackman)

• 2012 NLL Most Valuable Player

• 2012 MLL Steinfeld Cup Champion (Chesapeake Bayhawks)

• 2012 Mann Cup Champion (Peterborough Lakers)

• 2013 MLL Steinfeld Cup Champion (Chesapeake Bayhawks)

• 2014 MLL Steinfeld Cup Champion (Denver Outlaws)

Inducted into the NJCAA Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2010.

Inducted into the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame on June 3rd, 2021.

References:

• ^“Lakers Team Stats: John Grant Jr. Stats”Bible-of-Lacrosse.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2007-08-17.

•^http://www.peterboroughexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1646884

• ^“University Of Delaware 1999 Season Results and Game Stories”. 1999. Archived from the original on 2004-07-01. Retrieved 2017-02-01.

• ^“Knighthawks’ Grant earns NLL honor”Democrat and Chronicle. January 31, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-01.

• ^“GRANT TO MISS 2009 SEASON”. August 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-29.

• ^ abMatthews, Bob (October 28, 2010). “John Grant Jr. traded to Colorado Mammoth from Rochester Knighthawks”Democrat and ChronicleRochester, New YorkGannett Company. pp. 1D, 5D. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.

• ^Nikulin, Pol (January 22, 2012). “Colorado completes two-game sweep in Alberta”NLL.com. Archived from the original on September 9, 2012. Retrieved February 8,2012.

• ^Rosenhoch, Alan (March 3, 2012). “Grant hits 500-goal milestone as Mammoth edge Bandits”NLL.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.

• ^“BREAKING NEWS: Grant sets new single-season scoring record”NLL.com. April 28, 2012. Archived from the original on May 1, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2012.

• ^“John Grant Jr. wins Most Valuable Player Award, presented by Reebok Lacrosse”NLL.com. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2012-05-03.

• ^“Grant Sets Points Record In Rattlers Win”MajorLeagueLacrosse.com. August 11, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-17.

• ^“Grant Honored As 2007 Warrior Offensive Player Of The Year”MajorLeagueLacrosse.com. August 15, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-17.

• ^“Grant named 2007 Bud Light Major League Lacrosse Most Valuable Player”MajorLeagueLacrosse.com. August 24, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-30.

•^http://www.thebayhawks.com/player/186/chesapeake-bayhawks-john-grant-jr

• ^ http://www.denveroutlaws.com/press-release/8347/outlaws-announce-blockbuster-trade/

• ^ John Grant Jr. to the Machine

• ^ Outlaws win second MLL championship

• ^ John Grant Jr. retires from Major League Lacrosse

• ^ Junior comes out of retirement

• ^ John Grant Jr. reclaims scoring record

• ^ 2019 MLL All Stars announced

• ^“John Grant, Jr. Named Men’s Lacrosse Offensive Coordinator”hopkinssports.com.

• ^“National Lacrosse League Pointstreak Stats”NLL.com. Retrieved December 9,2019.

• ^“John Grant Jr”. Pointstreak.com. 
      retrieved December 13, 2017.

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