When two teams contacted him beforehand, Matt White had an idea he might be chosen in the Major League Lacrosse draft. But although he was ultimately selected by the Charlotte Hounds in the fourth round, White needed social media to get the news.
“I found out from Twitter,” he said.
White, a 2009 Ridgefield High graduate who is a senior attackman/midfielder at the University of Virginia, was the 28th overall selection in the draft, which took place Jan. 11 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Part of the reason why White was uncertain of his draft status was due to NCAA regulations. Most college athletes are finished playing when they are drafted by pro teams, but White still has one season remaining at Virginia.
“Charlotte did contact me before the draft, and Ohio (Machine) did as well,” said White. “They really couldn’t say much because of NCAA rules, so both teams kept it pretty short.
“I really wasn’t sure where I was going to go, but because those two teams contacted me I figured it would be with one of them,” added White. “To be honest, there are so many good players eligible this year that I was kind of surprised to see how early I went.”
White said that he plans on joining the Hounds after graduating from Virginia in May.
“To be honest, it’s the only job I have right now after college so I might as well make a few bucks doing something that I really enjoy,” said White. “I have a few buddies on the (Charlotte) team already, so I’m definitely looking forward to playing with some guys that I played with earlier in my career at UVA.”
First, though, White wants to end his college career with a second national championship. White was a key member of the 2011 Virginia team that won the title, scoring eight goals and adding three assists in the tournament, including three goals in the title game. He was named to the All-NCAA Tournament team.
“Going out on top my senior year would really be a storybook ending for my classmates and me this year, and I think we have the caliber of players and people to achieve that,” said White. “I think our team is going to be a work in progress early on in the year, but come May I think we will be one of the most dangerous teams in the country.”
White had his most productive season last spring, tallying 19 goals and 14 assists for 33 points in 18 games. Virginia went 12-4, losing to Notre Dame in the NCAA quarterfinals.
“For me personally, I just want to do whatever I can to put my teammates and myself in positions to score every time we have the ball,” said White, who has 55 goals and 36 assists for 91 points in 52 games with the Cavaliers. “I have been playing a few different positions in my career, so whatever position I ultimately end up at I’d like to do whatever the coaches need of me for us to win every game we play.”
Although White’s focus is on Virginia’s upcoming season, he is looking forward to turning pro.
“Some of the guys that still play in the league are the names that I grew up emulating in the backyard,” said White, who was a two-time All-American at Ridgefield High. “So it is certainly an honor to be playing in the same league as them.”