Globetrotting Canadian attackman Joe French was on the radar of every NCAA Division 1 team in the country until he made a verbal commitment to Georgetown University a couple weeks ago. He recently took the time out of his final exams schedule to answer a few questions.
Let’s start where we (Mike Brand and Joe French) left off and describe to the readers the atmosphere at the Worlds and the experience of the tournament. I saw you in a couple different places, including on the field after the US-Canada final, and in the giant makeshift lax flea market under the beer tent…
Joe French: The worlds were like nothing I have ever experienced, playing catch with people from Hong Kong, Australia and Poland! It was wild. Meeting people all around the world that love the game as much as I do was crazy. The tents were pretty cool and I see myself as a pretty avid trader and this “flea market” was downright sick.
Unfortunately the Americans beat our Men’s team in the gold medal game, all I can say is congratulations and you worked hard to get it. As an American I can’t think of a better feeling for you guys than seeing your flag raised after you won, but enjoy it, our boys will be back in 2014 and they will be ready. I think the coolest thing about standing on the sidelines for that game was seeing the red and white slowly fill up the stands. It really inspired me for the coming years to work to make the Men’s team and wear my country’s colours in a World Championship.
What were some of the best items you had to trade and what sweet gear did you come home with?
Joe French: I had a couple Team Canada jackets, hoodies, shirts, and shorts signed by all the guys that went fast and my extra JR was a huge hit. I got a pair of Iroquois gloves, Bermuda gloves, Australia jersey, and tons of other jersyes and shirts. My best item I got was a ‘Cuse jersey signed by the Powell brothers.
I put the Bermuda gloves on the wall at home, jerseys from 6 countries, right underneath my John Grant Jr. 2006 jersey, which is pretty cool. I picked up a “Gin n Juice” kit with a bucket, pinnie, shirt, and hoodie. I mean everything there was cool but I definitely brought some cool stuff home, watch out Denver 2014, I’ll be set up and ready to trade again.
Everyone knows what happened in Manchester, but can the Americans pull off the upset in the World Indoor Championships in Prague next year?
Joe French: I don’t want to jinx it, but I don’t think there’s a hope for you guys to beat us. I’m excited about the up and coming talent in the USA and that’s great, but you gotta remember the boys up North who live, breathe and sleep box lacrosse and basically grow up in the rinks 12 months a year. Its always been our strength and I don’t see anyone taking away our title.
Is field lacrosse becoming more or less popular in Canada?
Joe French: Field lacrosse is definitely growing, I mean how can’t you love it? Everyone loves playing on a field more than concrete. It gives you a lot of opportunity to have more time to make your moves and as a young attackman, the big net is an opportunity to score more!
How do you feel about your Toronto Nationals moving to Hamilton, Ontario and how could that have been avoided?
Joe French: Hamilton is a great sports town and they have been dying for a pro team for ages. This can only do great things for the game. Its still close to Toronto and now there’s a market for more people from Western Ontario to watch. The team will do well wherever they go, but Hamilton will give them a solid fan base.
How does your high school football stack up against teams from the States and do you play with three or four downs?
Joe French: We play Canadian 3 down football, the best kind! Our team is pretty good; we are young but next year looking to regain our command on Canadian high school football. We have a dynasty at St. Michaels, and it is time to rebuild it after a bad year. I don’t think our team could compete with the BEST of the BEST in the states but we could hang in there.
As your diary showed, you went hard this past summer. How did you manage that amount of activity and travel and were you able to put the stick down and chill out at all?
Joe French: People ask me the same thing all the time, and its pretty simple. Lacrosse is a huge part of my life, I play because I love it. The lax lifestyle is all about the balance and I definitely get chill time but for me all I need is a field, my twig, a pill, and a cage. Most of August was down time which was nice, but I got right back out there September 1st and won a national championship with Team Ontario.
Describe the perfect pocket in your stick?
Joe French: Sticks are personal preference, but for me it needs to have a lot of whip. I love my pocket to sit right there in the middle so its always ready to pass or shoot. I use 2 U’s and 2 nylons so my release is really crisp, which is important.
What was your least favorite part of the recruiting process?
Joe French: My least favourite part of the recruiting process was when reality sunk in and I realized I could go to more than 1 school. They were all SO nice and it was hard to pick one until I saw Georgetown and knew it was the only place I ever wanted for university. When you have 25, 30 schools recruiting you its all about making notes and knowing what you want. If you always ask yourself, “do I see myself here, every day September-to-June for 4 years?” Then you’ll be fine. It’s all about remembering it’s YOUR recruiting process so you need to choose the school for you.
Will you be taking #0 with you to Washington, DC?
Joe French: The only #0 coming to Washington, DC with me is my Team Ontario jersey I’ll put up on the wall. I’m really not worried about what number I’ll be wearing, just as long as its blue and silver and the jerseys says “HOYAS” on it. I’ve learned over the years its just a number, people always remember the name, and I’m just honoured to have the chance to play for Georgetown.
Who is the best basketball player to ever attend Georgetown University?
Joe French: In my opinion Allen Iverson is the best recent player, he’s from my lifetime and is pretty nasty. He plays a lot bigger than he is and I love that.
No, the correct answer is Patrick Ewing! You won’t be on campus until fall of 2013 so until then keep the positive attitude and stay healthy. Maybe we’ll see you on the sidelines in 2014 in Denver with equipment on!