Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/27/22
From Penn State Press Release
Haverford School grad and current assistant coach Grant Ament, arguably one of the best lacrosse players Penn State has ever seen, will return to Happy Valley on Sunday. The 2020 PSU graduate will be recognized between the third and fourth quarters of Sunday’s game against No. 1 Maryland at Panzer Stadium.
Ament made his mark at Penn State by setting numerous NCAA and school records as an outstanding attacker, record-breaker for assists in a season, and Tewaaraton Award finalist. In addition, alongside his teammates he led the Lions to an NCAA Tournament Final Four appearance back in 2019.
Some of Ament’s highlights at Penn State include being named a three time All-American, being voted Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2019, earning three All-Big Ten honors, and being named the nation’s Most Outstanding Attackman in 2019. Ament additionally broke a multitude of records such as an NCAA, Big Ten, and program record of 96 assists in a single season, a Big Ten and program record of 126 points in a season, and an NCAA tournament record of 25 points set during the 2019 postseason.
Ament’s career as a Nittany Lion ended abruptly in 2020 due to COVID-19 canceling the remainder of his senior season. Instead of returning for another season, he decided to enter the draft for the PLL where he was selected first overall by the Archers. Ament has continued his success at the next level. He was named the Attackman of the Year after the 2021 season and was recently selected as the fourth-best player in the PLL in a vote of the league’s players.
Amnt also launched the Attack Academy app alongside former teammate Mac O’Keefe and PLL stars Rob Pannell and Tom Schreiber. The app offers one-on-one feedback, drills, and tips for young lacrosse players looking to get better.
In advance of his appearance at Sunday’s game, Ament sat down for a Q&A to discuss his time at Penn State and in the PLL.
Q: When you found out your senior year was canceled due to COVID-19, one of the games you missed was the Maryland game under the lights which is always a big game. What emotions does it bring to you to come back for this game specifically?
A: I wish I could bring my pads back and suit up for one more. That rivalry and the atmosphere we get at Panzer is insane. My last Sunday night home game was against Ohio State my senior year and the atmosphere was just electric. It’s really cool to see how far the program has come and how alumni have come back and supported the program.
Q: What does it mean for you to come back to revisit this program where it all started for you?
A: Anytime I’m able to get back on campus it’s certainly a good time. I was at the Villanova game earlier in the season, and it brought back so many memories and a lot of smiles. Once that whistle blows, I think myself and all the other alumni who graduated with me get so invested in the game that it kind of feels like you’re on the sidelines. We’re passionate about winning, so our goal every time we go up is to watch the team win, hope for the best, and at the end of the day hopefully get to celebrate with them.
Q: How did Penn State and Coach Tambroni’s staff help you improve as a player that allowed you to transition to the PLL?
A: The coaches really shaped the way I thought about the game. [Coach T] taught me way more off the field than he did on the field. He gave me ways to improve that weren’t necessarily just extra reps on the field, but different ways to prepare for the mental battle of beating your opponent alongside being able to lead a strong offensive group of players. Coach Haus and Coach Hogan I look at like my older brothers. They care a whole lot about you and they always have your back. They taught me more about how to be a humble teammate and set the standard for us to follow.
Q: How was the transition for you from Penn State and NCAA play to the PLL?
A: It really wasn’t all that difficult. Obviously, the shot clock and there’s a two-point arc in the PLL, so there’s a little bit of rule changes that kind of shift the way that the game is played. In terms of preparation, because we were such a free-flowing offense at Penn State, that’s kind of what professional offense looks like so it matches up pretty well with the offense I’m playing now.
Q: What’s it like playing in the PLL with former Penn State teammates and Coach Haus after building relationships with them in college?
A: It’s weird playing against them that’s for sure. It’s really cool. I was teammates with Drew Adams. He graduated in 2009. Being able to connect with him about Penn State lacrosse kind of proves how strong the alumni network there is. Being able to play against Coach Haus and being on the other side against Mac is really weird, I definitely like it a lot better when they are on my side. I think Chris Sabia and I are the weirdest one because we have been on the same team since sixth grade. There’s a mutual respect and at the end of the day we’re all friends. We all bring out the best in one another; the only thing different now is we are wearing different jerseys.
Q: How did you develop such a strong relationship with Rob Pannell and Tom Schreiber and why did you guys decide to launch the Attack Academy App?
A: I was fortunate enough to meet Rob through Coach Tambroni because he coached him at Cornell for two years. We bonded over my foot injury, and I worked at one of his camps. He brought up the idea of an app to me and he launched it. I took that on as last year progressed and since then added Tom and Mac to create a model to get offensive drills and one-on-one feedback for young lacrosse players. I respect Rob and the way he goes about the game, same with Tom and his leadership. Being teammates with Mac I can’t say enough good things about him. Working with them has been a lot of fun.
Q: Is there anything we can expect from you coming in the next couple of months and what are your goals with the PLL?
A: My goal is to win a championship and to win an MVP trophy. That’s not something I hide from. We have the pieces to do it. I’m excited to get back out there and ramp up my conditioning and training. Once we have something together it gets really fun really quickly.