Growing up, I dreamed of playing professional lacrosse. I looked up to players like Kevin Alexander, John Tavares, and John Grant Jr., idolizing them and the creativity they played with. I would always try to take pieces of their game along the way to add to my own.
You’re always fighting to have people believe in you when you’re younger, to find your place. It wasn’t until I was drafted and played my first game that I knew where I was meant to be: Banditland.
Banditland is a special place. It’s a place where it doesn’t matter how old you are or the color of your skin. When I walked into the arena, I became part of the family and you have treated me and my family like one of your own.
I always try to take time to reflect and remember how lucky I am to play in Buffalo. There’s so much about the city that I’ve fallen in love with over the last seven years.
I have witnessed firsthand this city’s character and ability to overcome any obstacle in its way. I have seen the amount of love that people pour into this city and the way Buffalo comes together through trying times.
It is something that makes Buffalo a really, really special place to be. It’s where I met my future wife. Without her, I wouldn’t be able to live out my dreams. Buffalo is my new home, and I couldn’t ask for a better place to one day raise a family.
This city and team have been through so much together over the last few years. We’ve shared tears. We’ve shared laughs. We’ve become a family. And it’s something I want to be a part of for the rest of my career.
You’re not going to find that love, that support, that energy, anywhere else. It really injects confidence into who I am as a player and person and has just solidified the feeling that I wouldn’t be able to play in front of anyone else.
Seeing how all of you responded when we won the championship showed me how much this city truly cares about its sports teams and the Bandits. It’s why I can’t see myself putting my body on the line night in and night out for any other fan base.
Banditland, you have changed my life. It’s something I can’t thank you enough for. I wouldn’t be half the player or person I am today without you. You’re my motivation. When I run out of that tunnel and hear you behind me, it’s something like no other. It’s addicting.
You show up every night – no matter if it’s a blizzard or if it’s 105 degrees in the arena in June. You’re there to support us and give us everything you have to help us succeed.
You’re really our sixth man. The amount of momentum it creates – you can’t see it, but you can feel it. What we have here is just so much bigger than lacrosse. It’s really about the family we’ve built here in Banditland and that’s super important to me.
I try to pride myself on being a hard worker and putting the team first. To see guys like Steve Dietrich, John Tavares, and Scott Loffler putting their confidence in me means everything. It’s an honor to have this organization put its trust in me as a cornerstone piece of this team for the long-term.
This team is full of some of the closest people in my life. A band of brothers.
Knowing that Dhane will be by my side makes it even better. Being able to share the field with him has been an honor and I owe a lot of my success to 92. To have the chance to continue to learn and grow alongside him was another big reason why I wanted to stay in Buffalo. He’s been someone who pushes me to be great and always is the first to inject confidence into my game. I’m thankful for Buffalo for bringing us together and creating a lifelong brother. He exemplifies Buffalo, and it’s contagious.
These are the type of people I want to be around, and this is where I want to be to continue to chase championships.
Banditland, I’m here to stay.