Editor’s Note: Jonny “Vegas” Namer was the subject of one of the most popular posts EVER on LAS. The kid has an incredible story, and he just loves lax. He also balls with the Salt Shakerz on the regular. Too bad we couldn’t get him to NYC for the Invitational! Well, in 2 weeks he’s off to Vail for the annual Summer Shootout tournament so we got a little background info and then asked Jonny some questions to get a little more info. Sounds like this tourney will be a blast!
Jonny “Vegas” Namer is a player on several teams: team L-A-X, the Salt Shakerz, and Team AWESOME. On June 29th-July 4th, Vegas will be playing for team AWESOME in the Vail Shootout Elite Men’s Division.
Vegas says, “I’ve never played in, or even been to Vail before. I’m really looking forward to this. I will have to adjust to the altitude though, as I hear it’s hard to get used to”. Team AWESOME will be staying comfortably in a nearby lodge, and each room has a kitchen and there is a pool and hot tub outside.
Last year’s Vail Shootout champion, Maverik Elite, went undefeated on their way to winning the elite mens championship. Some of the players on that team were Sean Lindsay (lxm pro), Shamel Bratton (lxm pro), and Casey Powell (lax legend). I know Maverik Elite is playing again this year, but they will be without some of those players mentioned. I have a strong feeling they will still be a tough team to beat, but I think Team Awesome is up for the challenge.
Namer concluded with a side note, “last month was extremely tough on me as I lost both my grandmother and grandfather on my mom’s side. I was very close to them and I will be playing extra hard in their honor. They were incredibly supportive of me and I’ll miss them every day for the rest of my life”.
Check out Team Awesome at awesomelacrosse.com
What do you do to train/get ready for events like the Vail Shootout?
My #1 training tool is a wall. I play wall ball a few times per week and that keeps my stick skills from getting rusty. I run 2 miles every other day to stay in shape. The days in between my running days I take my lacrosse goal down to the park and I shoot around 50-60 times. I also lift weights a few times a week.
How did you get hooked up with the Team Awesome guys?
I had played lacrosse with several Team Awesome members a little over a year ago. Dave Loudenslager runs the team, and after talking with him about joining Team Awesome for the Vail Shootout 2011, I jumped on that opportunity without having to think twice. I’m so excited to play with these guys, it’s going to be… awesome.
What have you heard about Vail? What are your expectations of the tourney and nightlife? By the way I’m super jealous you”re going… maybe I’ll make it out there next year when I’ll be 32. Wow I’m getting old. At least I’ll be able to play masters.
I’ve heard that Vail is an amazing city. Playing lacrosse in Vail is something I’ve wanted to do for the last few years. The altitude will be tough to get used to playing lacrosse in, so that means my stamina has to be in great condition. My expectations for the tourney and nightlife are playing in some close, and highly competitive games all the way through the whole tournament and then going out at night to see where Vail’s nightlife takes us.
You should definitely go to Vail next year, as long as you show up in shape, I’m sure you’ll do great. Also, the Vail Shootout has a shot clock and a 2pt arc (at 16 yards), so I’m really looking forward to that as well.
What kind of stick are you using?
I’m rocking a pink Brine X6 head on a Warrior diamond shaft. My pocket sits a little high with just the right amount of whip. I use hard mesh and my pocket is deep but not illegal.
Have you been playing a lot in Cali to get ready?
I play every Sunday, either in a field lacrosse pickup game or I play in a box lacrosse pickup game. I play for team l-a-x in the southern California club lacrosse association (sclax.com). Our season just ended a few weeks ago. We are a fairly new team to the league and next season we will be a lot better as we are going to be adding more players to the team that can help us be more of a competitor in the league.
We just got back from Thailand (you’ll have to come with us next time, seriously!) and the chance to travel there for lax was unreal. You’ve been all over the US playing; how would you describe that experience?
That’s awesome, I saw the pictures and articles from your Thailand trip. I am definitely going to take you up on that offer, I’d love to go to Thailand, especially for lax. I love traveling to, and playing lacrosse in, places other than home. I will continue playing in many tournaments in the US, but I’d love to play lacrosse in other countries as well. Two thing I love to do are travel and play lax and playing in tournaments. I’m just thankful I get to do both!