DENVER (CBS4)– One of the best players in both indoor and outdoor lacrosse history returned to the field this season after a short-lived retirement. John Grant Jr. retired from professional lacrosse two years ago, though he never strayed far from the game.
“I love playing. The joy of playing supersedes everything,” said Grant.
Soon after retiring, Grant became the offensive coordinator for the Denver Outlaws – a position he will retain while he resumes his playing career.
“I like the new nickname. Reggie Dunlop is pretty good – and it got rid of the grandpa nickname. But the way I coach, I’m out there with them feeling the blows. But now to do it on the field – it’s actually easier to get the message across. With the crowd and weather, the noise gets loud and they can’t always hear what I’m saying,” said Grant.
Grant isn’t afraid to pull himself out of the game if it will help the team.
“I have a quick trigger – when I’m not playing well, I’ll pull myself out. I want the guys to know that everyone is accountable. You play well, you play hard – or you don’t play. That starts with me,” said Grant.
At the age of 44, Grant is adjusting to a different style of training and play. Even though it’s physically tolling, the pain never bothered him anyway. And this time around, Grant has another motivation.
“A couple mornings I’ve thought, ‘What am I doing?!’ But then my daughter runs in with her excitement and it overwhelms the pain. I’m in pain everyday anyway, so a little more to be able to do what I love doing is okay,” Grant said. “I know that on June 27, my daughter is going to be on the field – and that’s kind of why I’m doing it. She barely remembers me playing before. The joy in watching her see me play is going to be, maybe one of the best feelings in my career.”