2009 National Lacrosse Hall of Famer Mark Millon has had an illustrious career in MLL. Starting with his participation in the first ever Summer Showcase in 2000, Millon proceeded to spend the next seven years racking up accolades, points and praise. The UMass product was voted the league Co-MVP in 2005 and the league Offensive Player of the Year in 2002 and 2003. In 2002 he led the Baltimore Bayhawks to the MLL Championship garnering MVP honors in the Championship game. On the international front, Millon was a member of the 1994 and 1998 U.S. Men’s National Teams where he won All World and Tournament MVP in 1994 and All World and Best Attackmen in 1998, helping the U.S. to two World titles.
He ‘retired’ in 2007 as the games all time leading scorer with 356 points and owning multiple single-game records, some of which still stand today.
Millon will have a chance to prove himself once again as he was selected by Rochester with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 MLL Supplemental Draft, and will join the Rattlers for preseason.
“It’s interesting,” Millon told MajorLeagueLacrosse.com. “I’ve been really fortunate in my lacrosse career to accomplish so many things so whether I went No. 1, 24 or 44 that really wasn’t important to me. With my age and what I’ve done in my career I wanted to get in there and take a crack at it, going No. 1 was an extra bonus.”
Millon is not interested in increasing his personal trophy cabinet with more individual honors, nor is he trying to pad his bank account; in fact he plans to donate part of his salary to charity.
“It’s not about points or personal accolades,” Millon continued. “I don’t have expectations that I’m going to be in the hunt for the League MVP and the scoring titles. I came into this league when I was almost 30 yrs old and I played seven or eight years of club lacrosse prior to that scoring a lot of goals during those years. At this stage it’s unimportant for me. I’m not doing it for the money either. I plan to donate half of my salary to the Lead the Way Fund. Jimmy Regan, a lacrosse player at Duke was an Army ranger who was killed in Iraq and his family founded a non-profit organization to raise funds in support of disabled U.S. Army Rangers and the families of Rangers who have died.”
Instead, Millon cites his two children and his love for the game of Lacrosse as motivation to return to competitive play.
“I have two boys [Brendan and Mcabe] that are six and nine now,” Millon continued. “They were small when I was playing and didn’t get a chance to see me play so that’s part of it. My love for the game and drive to compete are also important factors, and I think I can still make a contribution to my team.”
He doesn’t think the game has changed much since he left in 2007 but he does have words of praise for current and former players.
“I don’t see many differences now. The game was really physical when I started playing and there were probably more superstars. There are definitely some superstars in the game today and some are at a level that no one has ever been at in the sport like Paul [Rabil]. Back then we had Gary and Paul Gait, Tom Marechek, A.J. Hogan, both Powells, Casey and Ryan and the game was fast and physical. I think the main change since I left would be in the extra long pole, when I left there was no long pole position and that may have changed it a little bit but not a tremendous amount.”
Millon currently spends his time juggling his job as Sports Marketing Director for Warrior/Brine Lacrosse and running the Millon Lacrosse Camps which have been attracting young lacrosse enthusiasts from all over the world for almost 20 years. If called upon in Rochester, he hopes to be able to bring his experience and lead by example.
“I like to work hard and I like to lead by example,” Millon said. “I think there will hopefully be a significant leadership role that I can provide if the team needs it, but I won’t know until I get there and go to practices.”
Finally, Millon has words of praise for Major League Lacrosse and the direction it’s taking. Having been there since ‘Day One’ he has seen it flourish and looks forward to measuring up against today’s players.
“It’s great to have been a part of that initial showcase [in 2000],” He concluded. “I think the first ever “Take it Outside” poster had me, Casey [Powell] and John Gagliardi in it. From day one I have really believed in this league and its future so to be involved in it then and have chance to come back now, so many years later, and see how I can stack up against the best players in the game today is going to be exciting.”