Chat with Jesse Hubbard
Hubbard will be joining The Show one day after playing in the 2006 MLL All-Star game to be played Thursday at Boston University's Nickerson Field.
Hubbard, a 1998 Princeton graduate, was named to his fifth all-star team this year in six years of playing in the MLL. Hubbard, who played on three national championship teams while at Princeton, is second on the MLL's all-time goale list with 201. So far in 2006, in seven games, Hubbard has 24 total points, including 15 assists.
Send your questions now and join Jesse in The Show on Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (3:00 PM)
Jesse will be here shortly. Send in those questions!
Jesse, what does the MLL need to do to gain more exposure?
Jesse Hubbard (3:07 PM)
I think the MLL has done a great job from Day 1 in not trying to pretend it's something it's not. Last year with the four expansion teams, that's a tribute to their long term plans. The original teams are still there and running. Getting media coverage helps brand the league and each team. The other side of that is each owner needs to put on a good event where the fans leave having a good experience. I think everything's been done pretty well. People want it to be the NFL immediately, but that's not very realistic. The attendance in Denver has been amazing - I heard they had 18,000 people for their last game. Attendance is increasing in college and pro lacrosse. You need to get fans in the seats and have a good experience.
jp NY, NY
who is your biggest hero/ role model?
Jesse Hubbard (3:09 PM)
That's a good question. In the lacrosse world, I was in middle school and high school in the late 80s and early 90s. Ryan Wade and other dynamic players were around then. My main role model in general was probably my older brother Andy. He played lacrosse, football, I played the same. He went to Princeton, I went to Princeton. Many younger brothers out there can say that they look up to their older brothers. We would just beat on each other in the yard playing in the backyard. If you follow lacrosse closely, you see a lot of families playing and following lacrosse.
Jarrett (Jericho, VT)
Jesse, when you broke your finger last year, you obviously weren't doing so hot. Now that it's healed, do you think you can put up huge numbers and guide the Pride to a Championship title?
Jesse Hubbard (3:11 PM)
Team success and individual numbers, I don't relate the two. The first two years in the league, I put up a lot of goals, because that was my role. The last few years, I've had to carry the ball some more and carry the quarterback role some more. I'm not nearly not getting the same number of shots I did the first few years, but that's because the team is different. I think I've had the most assists I've had in my career. For us to win as a team, I need to be unselfish and dish the ball as needed. We've been in every game and we're competitive. Being competitive in this league is hard. Hopefully we can start winning games and see what happens.
BJ Carmel NY
Hey Jesse,Great Job on Cold Pizza! I was looking at Pride.uslaxnet.com and I think its great you guys get involved with youth and HS teams. How did this all come about?
Jesse Hubbard (3:14 PM)
First, thanks for the comments on Cold Pizza, we had a good time on that show. It was fun getting the hosts sticks in their hands. The guys at the Pride do a great job with the website, to make it interactive and make it a destination. We've always reached out to youth and high school teams. We've had busloads of kids come to the games over the years. It's a way to bridge the gap between the kids and the pros. I can speak for everyone on the team when I say that we've been all over the state promoting the sport and the team as much as possible.
Tony ridgewood new jersey
What stick do you use now and how fast can you shoot?
Jesse Hubbard (3:16 PM)
Right now I use the Warrior Razer. I haven't got my shot clocked in a while, but my fastest ever was probably 105, but it's usually in the upper 90s. I try to get the quick release on my shot, that's more important than velocity. I always tell kids a quick release and deception is more important that the MPH.
Jake, Worcester, MA
Jesse, what do you think are your strenths and why?
Jesse Hubbard (3:18 PM)
Great question Jake. I think my strength is experience and knowing what's going to be open and how to split a defense. I've kind of become more of a field general, more of an assist guy the last couple of years. I try to help the offense in creating opportunities and feeding guys. We have a lot of good middies. I try to play a different role than people know me as. I was known as primarily a shooter early in my career. I know most of the defenses and what they're trying to do. I still try to be a threat as a shooter as that will open things up for my teammates.
Jay Clewis (Syracuse, NY)
Are you upset to not be a part of Team USA heading to the World Championships in Ontario, Canada later this month? Is the selection process (of that team) political in your eyes? There are guys straight out of college on the team (Joe Walters from Maryland) when you're a five-time MLL all star. Your comments?
Jesse Hubbard (3:20 PM)
No, I'm not upset at all. I didn't try out last summer. If you don't try out, there's no way to make the team. I broke my finger before the tryouts and couldn't play. I was on the team in 1998 and won a championship. I was on the fence last summer of whether I was going to try out. I wish those guys the best; we've got a great squad. There's plenty of lacrosse and plenty of great opportunities for everyone to play.
Dave - New Canaan, CT
What is the hardest thing about juggling two careers?
Jesse Hubbard (3:21 PM)
Speaking for most of the guys in the league, the hardest part of playing in the MLL and then holding down a day job is getting mentally prepared to play. At this level, it's pretty hard to come out to the field and in 10 mintues get ready to play. You have to get prepared to play. The other part of it is staying in shape physically - that takes a lot of time. Rehabbing properly from an injury also takes a lot of time.
Mike, (Myrtle Beach)
How does it feel to be an all-star in sport that isn't that recognizable as say other american sports such as Football, Basketball, or Baseball?
Jesse Hubbard (3:23 PM)
It's nice being an all-star to be recognized as playing at a high level. It's a nice little break midseason. In terms of recognition of lacrosse, it's obviously not as main stream as other sports. It's gaining media attention. From my perspective, there was no MLL or anything when I was coming out of college. I think for the long run, pro lacrosse is here to stay and can only grow.
Tyler - SF, CA
Has the success of the new Western Conference teams suprised you? Do you think Chicago will win a game this year?
Jesse Hubbard (3:25 PM)
Good question. I'm not surprised with the success of the western teams, Denver and SF are doing well. The expansion draft left a lot of players unprotected. If you look at the rosters, there are some great players on all four of the expansion teams. In terms of attendance, everyone knew that the Denver group was going to do a good job of drawing the fans in. They're exceeding everyone's expectations, except maybe their own. I haven't played Chicago yet. I think they'll get at least a game this year, probably two or three. You never know who's going to get you in any week. There are no easy wins in this league.
Dylan Starr (Jupiter,Florida)
Do you think the MLL will ever put an expansion team in south Florida?
Jesse Hubbard (3:27 PM)
That's a great question. I think their intention is to expand in 2008. From what I hear, they want to add two teams to the Western division in 2008, I'm not sure where. I've heard some rumors about a Florida team. That would be cool to play down there. It depends on ownership groups. I think a lot of players would like to play down there.
Ryan White of Northbridge, Massachusetts
Hey Jess, I've been playing lacrosse for a couple years now and switched from goalie to defense. What, in your opinion, could a defender do to stop or shutdown a scoring machine like you? Also, what got you into lacrosse and how did you become so good?
Jesse Hubbard (3:30 PM)
To answer the first one, switching from goalie to defense, you'll have an advantage of knowing what the defense wants to do. You know what's going on at a team level. Foot work and positioning are the key to defensemen. The best defensemen out there are the ones with the best feet. As far as my start, I got a stick for a present. My brother and I got sticks and just started playing. Then I got on to teams and started practicing. I realized that there's no limit to how good your skills can become, if you just go out and practice your skills. You can never have good enough stick skills. You can control your own destiny in terms of making yourself a good player.
Phil (Syracuse, NY)
Jesse, who is the early front-runner in your opinion for next year's college crown?
Jesse Hubbard (3:32 PM)
Next year . . . To be honest, I haven't really thought about it. Virginia lost a lot, but they're always a good program. They seem to reload quickly. I'm hoping Princeton does well, they have a lot of young talent. Cornell seems to be pretty solid. We'll see what happens down at Duke, there's still a lot of talent on that team. And Maryland, they always seem to reload. I'm a little biased, I'd like to see a Syracuse-Princeton matchup.
Tom Byrne (Roslindale, MA)
Jesse, whats up man? What do you think is the best part of playing in the MLL? What do you think an attackmans most important job is on the field?
Jesse Hubbard (3:33 PM)
I think the level of competition is probably the best part. It's funny because you pretty much have stars on every team - All-Americans and guys who were stars on their teams in college. These guys come together and the guy who was "the man" in college is now a role player. The guys are all amazing competitors. You have to challenge yourself every week and you have to rise to the challenge.
Art, Annapolis, MD
Who was your best coach college, pro or club and what were some of the better things he taught you?
Jesse Hubbard (3:36 PM)
I think it's hard to compare a college coach to a pro coach. In college, you're practicing all spring, a few weeks in the fall and there's a lot of strategy there. In the pros, some times the players will get traded, you'll only see the coach a couple of times a week. But I think coach Bill Tierney was one of the best coaches of all time. He challenges you. The best lesson he taught was to prepare properly. If you prepare properly, when the time comes you can handle the situation better. His main strategy was to make the week of practice so hard and challenging that when the game came around, it was easy compared to practices.
Tyler - SF, CA
If the MLL paid a living wage (so you could quit your day job) would you have any hesitation in making the switch to playing lacrosse full-time?
Jesse Hubbard (3:38 PM)
I think a lot of guys in the league like what they do, whatever they do - coaching, working in an office, being a sales rep. I don't know if most people would quit their day job. If we had to give a full commitment, every day, and it was a viable full-time job, certainly a lot of guys would do it. My full-time job is with Warrior, I enjoy it - I'm in the lacrosse industry. I wouldn't give that up. Some guys like to compete. We'll see if one day guys can live on a lacrosse salary.
In your opinion, who is the best defenseman in the MLL? If you can't choose one, I guess a list of guys will do.
Jesse Hubbard (3:44 PM)
It's hard to say who's the best when there are so many guys out there. Brodie Merrill is probably the best ground ball defenseman. Nicky Polanco seems to be teh best shut down guy. There's good defensemen on every team. Ryan Curtis has had a great career and is still at the top of his game. It's tough to say, I couldn't pick any one guy.
Jesse Hubbard (3:44 PM)
Thanks for your questions. Thanks for taking the time. I hope everyone catches some MLL action this summer.