The Ohio Machine announced that John Grant Jr. has signed a one-year contract extension for the 2017 season. Grant will return for his first full season with the Ohio Machine, which will be his 12th in Major League Lacrosse.
"We have a great team and I'm fortunate they know I have more in the tank," Grant Jr. said. "I love playing this game and I love helping this team win. This team is going to be on a rocket ship in the future. I know I can help lead them on the field and off to propel them into a dynasty for years to come."
"It's exciting to have a full year with Junior on our roster," Ohio Machine head coach and general manager Bear Davis said. "He had a strong campaign with us last season and we are looking for more of the same in 2017. Not only is he an impressive offensive threat, but he also has an ability to read the field and make plays to better those around him."
The 42-year-old veteran had a played half a season with the Machine last year, after being acquired at the trade deadline from Denver in exchange for goaltender Adam Fullerton and a 2017 second-round collegiate draft pick. He set an MLL record with 10 goals in a 22-13 win over the New [lacrosse] Lizards which also earned him the top highlight on SportsCenter's Top 10 on ESPN.
Grant holds the number one spot as all-time goal leader in Major League Lacrosse with 336 goals. Last season, he overtook the retiring Casey Powell as the all-time MLL points leader with 540 total career points and sits fourth in all-time career assists with 195. He has played in six MLL Championships, winning five, he has proven time and time again that he is a tenacious leader and an impressive playmaker.
Grant was named the Championship game MVP twice (2013, 2014) and won the Major League Lacrosse MVP award in consecutive seasons from 2007-08. He recorded 71 points (44 goals, 2 two-point goals, 25 assists) in 12 games in 2007 and 64 points (47 goals, 4 two-point goals, 25 assists) in 12 games in 2008.
"Obviously Jr. does so much on the field for us and is one of the greatest players to pick up a stick," Ohio Machine captain Kyle Harrison said. "But what excites me the most about having another year of Jr. on the squad is having him in the locker room. He's a proven winner at every level and embodies what it means to be a professional athlete."
John Grant Jr. started his lacrosse success playing for the Ontario Lacrosse Association with the Peterborough Lakes in 1991, from there his skills and athleticism took him to the University of Delaware. In 1999, Delaware had seven wins against top-twenty teams and Grant set single-season records in assists (54) and points (110). He even earned the USILA Division 1 Player of the Year honors and was awarded the Jack Turnbull Award as National Attackman of the Year.
Grant started his MLL career with the Rochester Rattlers in their inaugural season in 2001 and finished second in the league with 59 points (44 goals, 3 two-point games, 15 assists) in 14 games, he was also named an MLL All-Star and earned League Offensive Player of the year honors.
"He's a proven winner, a champion on every level," Ohio Machine teammate Marcus Holman said. "He doesn't care about who's scoring. It's about the team. He has a calming presence. He's a wise veteran. He's a coach, so he brings X's and O's as well. He's a very smart player and I'm very excited at the opportunity to play alongside him again in 2017."
John Grant Jr. and the rest of the Ohio Machine will start their 2017 in on April 22. The first home game for the Ohio Machine will be May 6th when they open the brand-new Obetz Fortress.