The Archers hit the mark when they drafted Grant Ament.
Ament, a Doylestown native, was the first overall pick in the 2020 Premier Lacrosse League draft.
“It was pretty cool,” Ament said of being selected first. “I was at my parents’ house in Doylestown, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and friends were over through the whole thing. It was a cool moment for me but also coming from Doylestown, there had never been a pro lacrosse player from Doylestown before, and that’s something I hold near and dear to my heart.”
His older brothers, twins Brandon and Blake, both went to Central Bucks East as did his father, Brad, but Ament knew he had to follow a different path.
He chose to attend the Haverford School, a private boys school on the Main Line that is noted for rigorous academics and an outstanding lacrosse program.
“It was just a better fit for me,” he said. “Obviously, it was a tough decision to make. I had to leave my friends. But once I visited a classroom there, it really resonated with what I needed academically and of course with lacrosse. It was the perfect fit for me and my family.
“It was a tough commute, though. I give my mom (Lisa) credit. She drove me the first two and a half years.”
He was a three-year starter there, helping the team to Inter-Ac titles in 2013 and 2015, when the Fords went 26-0. That season he was a team captain and scored 37 goals and had 83 assists. He finished the season with 120 points, a single season record for the program.
After high school, Ament, an attack player, followed the family tradition and went on to Penn State, the college both parents and both brothers attended.
As a Nittany Lion, he was a three-time All-American, making the first team in 2019 and 2020 and honorable mention in 2017. He was the program’s first-ever Tewaaraton Award finalist in 2019. The Tewaaraton is the men’s lacrosse equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
He was the winner of the NCAA’s Lt. Col. J.I. (Jack) Turnbull Award as the outstanding attackman in 2019, the same year he was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. He received All-Big Ten honors three times and had 191 career assists, which ranked sixth in NCAA history at the time he graduated. This is also the Penn State record, and he holds the team record for career points with 284.
He graduated in 2020 with a degree in economics.
Lacrosse always had an allure for Ament.
“Brandon, my older brother, began playing in elementary school,” he said. “I didn’t want to play baseball, which broke my grandfather’s heart. Lacrosse was what I wanted to do and when I got old enough to play, I started with Central Bucks Lacrosse.
“I played soccer and wrestled growing up but there was something about lacrosse. I was always more confident on a lacrosse field and once that specialization phase came in eighth grade, I chose lacrosse.”
He continued to play soccer through high school.
“My father played soccer for CB East back in the day,” he said. “It’s my second love, and it’s something my dad and I have in common.”
In 2020, his first season with the Archers, Ament finished the year tied for third in the league for points with 20, posting six goals and 14 assists. This past season he led the league with 35 points, 13 goals and 25 assists.
“I have great pride in playing with these guys and playing in the Premier Lacrosse League,” he said. “Being able to play with a lot of guys that I molded my game around and idolized when I was younger is awesome. It’s been a great learning experience, and one of the things I learned is that it’s a lot harder to win at the pro level than it is in high school or college.
This season, the Archers fell in the PLL quarterfinals to the Chaos, 13-10, in Salt Lake City. The PLL follows a travel model in that teams do not have a hometown affiliation. Rather, they travel from city to city to play games.
“Personally, losing that game was a letdown,” he said. “We had the talent to be really good this year. The biggest thing I’ve learned this year is that the biggest difference between wins and losses in pro sports is so small. If you’re not 100 percent every day every practice, someone is going to expose you.
“We lost the game. The Chaos didn’t beat us and that’s certainly frustrating. I worked pretty hard to get to that point but at the same time I’m lucky because I have a lot of years left. There are things I picked up that I can use in the future and lot of the guys on the team are having that same kind of reflection.
“Motivation going into offseason is never a bad thing.”
In the offseason, he is the offense coordinator for Haverford School, coaches at camps and clinics and has his own coaching application, The Attack Academy.
“I feel very fortunate to just do lacrosse for a living,” he said. “I understand that. Out of my friends and the guys that I played with in college, I’m the only one still playing. I see them working desk jobs and not really love what they’re doing and I’m doing what I love and making a living off of it.
“I’m playing a game as a full-time job and if you ask any adult, I think they’ll take that deal nine times out of 10. It’s a dream come true and I cherish it, but I understand it’s not going to last forever. Our contracts aren’t as big as sports like baseball or football, so once I hang it up, I have to figure out what I want to do.
“I’m exploring things, but for now, I just want to improve and be the best player I can be.”