We are bringing back the delighful Throwback Thursday Q&A segment with some of the League's previous players. For this week's segment, we spoke with Pat Heim, the MLL First Overall Draft Pick in 2007. Hailing from Wayne, PA, Heim attended Conestoga High School before taking his playing career to the next level at Pennsylvania State University. While playing for the Nittany Lions, Heim was a three-time All-ECAC First Team selection and received USILA All-American Honorable Mention honors following his junior and senior seasons. He ended his collegiate career with 85 points (58G, 27A).
Heim was drafted by MLL’s Chicago Machine in the 2007 Collegiate Draft and won Rookie of the Week for his performance in his first MLL game. During his two full seasons with the Machine, Heim tallied 26 goals, 1 two-point goal, and 12 assists. In 2009, he was traded to the Washington Bayhawks, and then picked up by the Boston Cannons through the 2010 Supplemental Draft. Heim ended his MLL career with 157 goals, 15 two-point goals, and 27 assists.
Since retiring from MLL in 2013, Heim has been focusing his efforts on his growing family and working in the commercial real estate business with Avison Young. We caught up with Heim to get his thoughts on the League and his time spent playing.
Can you walk us through how you felt on the day you were drafted? How were your emotions?
It’s actually kind of a crazy story, especially given the history and the fact 2007 was kind of a crazy year with the Duke lacrosse scandal. At that time, the league invited the top 40 seniors to do this combine at Stony Brook in Long Island. Initially I wasn’t invited, and this kind of upset me. I called my Assistant Coach at the time, Coach Van Arsdale, and told him I didn’t get invited, and thought I should have been. I ended up getting a call a week before the combine to tell me I was invited. As I’m in the car driving to Long Island, I get a call from Brian Reese, who told me that with the latest news, they were starting to look at who was in the player market and asked if I would be interested in playing in Denver. Matt Danowski and the Duke guys were
granted another year of eligibility because of what happened, and that changed things.
Honestly, I went up there and I played the best I could have ever played. I did great on the physical tests. It was kind of crazy. It was a shock to me. For me to go up there and for someone to whisper in my ear “you’re going to be the number one pick,” it was like “you’re kidding.” A shocking experience but I was extremely humbled by the whole situation. You play well at the right time and good things can happen.
How would you describe your time in the league?
Toyota Park was one of the best sporting venues I’ve ever played in. I came in and won Rookie of the Week honors in my first game, coming off a crazy story and it was a whirlwind of wondering how much the momentum was going to carry me. The hardest part that first summer was travel. It’s frustrating to go through travel issues and have a losing season, but at the end of the day there’s nothing better than running out on the field in a cool venue with your
teammates. The locker room vibes and the teammates counterbalanced the negativity from travel delays, lost luggage, and jet lag. I enjoyed checking out other cities. When you win a game, the locker room is on fire- there’s nothing better than that, that’s what keeps players coming back. Lacrosse is such a small community sport, it’s a total brotherhood. I miss it, I really do. Playing in the MLL was such a great experience.
What have you been doing professionally since playing in the league?
I work in commercial real estate now as a broker. I got married in the summer of 2014 and my wife and I bought a house this past August. We now have a baby on the way. I was starting a new career in real estate and realized I needed to put the time into work and my personal life.
What advice would you give to incoming players and rookies?
Grow the game. Be involved. Use your professional pedigree as a way of growing your community base for the growth of lacrosse. Remember that you represent not only yourself, but your former school and your community. Grow the sport, kids look up to you. Never turn down an autograph. Always take the time to talk to people who want to talk to you.