For this week’s Throwback Thursday we spoke with Adam Doneger, former MLL Star and 2003 Rookie of the Year. Hailing from Lynbrook, NY, Doneger is the eldest of three lacrosse stars, his younger brothers having played at Princeton and Johns Hopkins. Doneger was a standout at Lynbrook High School on Long Island before going on to Johns Hopkins University, where he was named a two-time First Team All American, served as captain during both his junior and senior years, and won a gold medal with the U.S. Men’s National Team in the 2002 World Games. The dynamic midfielder ended his college career with 88 goals and 29 assists totaling 117 points.
Doneger was drafted by MLL’s Rochester Rattlers in the 2003 Collegiate Draft and won Rookie of the Year during his first season with the league. In 2004, he was traded to the former New Jersey Pride, where he played for another four seasons. Doneger ended his MLL career with 107 goals, 15 two-point goals, and 27 assists, totaling 149 points.
Since retiring from MLL in 2007, Doneger has been focusing his efforts in the real estate business (where he works at Eastdil Secured), a passion of his since his time in the league. We caught up with Doneger to get his thoughts on the MLL– past, present, and future:
What do you miss most about playing for MLL?
I miss the camaraderie with the guys; being part of a team and going out every week and competing is what I miss most. I was fortunate enough to play with a great group of guys, both for Rochester and New Jersey, and many of them on the New Jersey team (Kyle Harrison, Michael Peyser, Conor Ford ,among others) were college teammates, in addition to guys like Jesse Hubbard, Ryan Mollett, and Ryan McClay who are still good friends of mine.
What is the most memorable moment from your five seasons with the league?
Rookie of the year was a great accomplishment. I was fortunate enough to win that award, but I also had the fortune of playing with some of the greatest players to ever play the sport in Casey and Ryan Powell, among others.
Can you tell us your opinion on how the league has grown over the last few years?
I think it’s great. People are talking about the MLL and are certainly more intrigued and invigorated by the sport of lacrosse. They’re following it more so, and it’s great to see the games on TV. Although it’s still a grassroots sport, I think lacrosse, and the MLL, will continue to generate a following over the next several years.
What would you say is different about the sport, or the culture of the sport, since you last played?
I don’t think anything’s different in terms of playing at the MLL level, but there’s a greater amount of youth teams and new geographic regions where the sport has caught on. It’s expanded to new places and new generations which is great to witness.
That said, do you think the focus on youth players means something for the future of lacrosse?
Absolutely. I think the sport is only going to continue to grow. Statistically, it is the fastest growing sport in the country right now, and I don’t think that’s going to slow down any time soon.
Any advice for young players out there?
I would say to work hard at everything you do and play as many sports as possible at a young age. Those other sports will help you to become a more well-rounded lacrosse player. Make sure to focus on your academics, and hopefully that will lead to an opportunity to play college lacrosse.
Lastly, what is your favorite part about lacrosse?
I love the feeling of going out on the field and competing. Nothing compares to that.
About Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, was founded by Jake Steinfeld and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Major League Lacrosse commenced play in June of 2001 and will enter its 13th season in 2013. MLL has continued to lead the sport of lacrosse into the mainstream of competitive team sports. The league is made up of eight teams: The Boston Cannons, Charlotte Hounds, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Denver Outlaws, Hamilton Nationals, Long Island Lizards, Ohio Machine and Rochester Rattlers.
The 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft will take place on January 11, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. The 2013 season will commence on April 27, 2013. More information about the league can be found at
www.majorleaguelacrosse.com, or on Facebook or Twitter @mll_lacrosse.