Grant Ament Discusses Penn State Lacrosse Career, Path To Happy Valley
Penn State lacrosse star Grant Ament went on US Lacrosse Magazine’s “Overtime with Paul Caracterra” podcast to discuss his prematurely cut-short college career on Monday.
The episode began by Ament discussing his childhood and how he came to love lacrosse. Ament wasn’t born into a lacrosse family, but his two older brothers eventually got him into the sport.
“Soccer was my first love,” Ament said. “My brother Brandon started [playing lacrosse] and my other brother Blake started the following year.”
Ament noted that he always looked up to his older siblings, and his love for the game increased exponentially by trying to keep up with them. At 5’9″, the Doylestown native joked that lacrosse was unique for his size.
“When I was younger, to be honest, I was probably the smallest guy on most teams,” Ament said. “The sport allowed for any shapes and sizes.”
While he didn’t grow up in a lacrosse family, Ament definitely grew up with Nittany Lion blood. Ament discussed how he’d travel to Happy Valley consistently from a young age to watch lacrosse and football games.
“The biggest thing I would remember is getting a new football, and bringing it out to Old Main Lawn, and having a catch with my dad and my brothers,” Ament said. “I’ve been going to those games since I can remember.”
The redshirt senior, who recently announced he wouldn’t return next season, despite an extra year of eligibility, discussed the unfortunate ending to a “storybook career” in Happy Valley.
Tambroni told the seniors the news at a rest stop on the way back from beating Furman, which would turn out to be Ament’s last game in a Nittany Lion uniform.
Ament noted that his family were a great support system for him following the NCAA’s announcement.
“You don’t realize how many factors go into it all, and how much sacrifice [parents] make,” Ament said. “I know that those two were my biggest supporters, they are the ones who allowed me to play this game at the highest level.”
In his time at Penn State, Ament brought the team from an 8-7 season in 2016 to a trip to the Final Four in 2019.
Ament credited head coach Jeff Tambroni with the rise of the program.
“The way he went about his business and continues to go about his business,” Ament said. “If there was a train to hop on, it would definitely be that one. Regardless of what happens on the scoreboard, [I knew he would] change the culture of the program.”
Caracaterra pressed Ament on his relationship with Mac O’Keefe. The two attackers combined for an absurd 510 points in their careers, however Ament said they didn’t take themselves too seriously.
“I look at Mac more about what he does off the field and more than on the field,” he said. “I don’t see [us as some of the greatest collegiate players ever]. I just see him as a friend and a teammate.”
Unless O’Keefe decides to accept another year of eligibility, the dynamic duo will both be moving on from their playing days at Penn State.
However, Ament says that the culture they have instilled in the locker room is more important than anything.
“I remember [former teammate] Kevin Fox telling us, ‘Everybody needs to understand that it’s cool to care.'”
Ament will head to the professional ranks next year, but he doesn’t expect the Nittany Lions’ rise to stop.
“There is no reason why Penn State shouldn’t be in the top five every single year.”
You can listen to the full podcast here.
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