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AU's Grace Griffin

Take Me Back: Grace Griffin Makes an AU Super Fan's Dream Come True

September 6, 2023
Annabelle Finney
Kait Devir

Grace Griffin is interviewed by Annabelle Finney, an Athletes Unlimited super fan.

This article appears in the September/October edition of USA Lacrosse Magazine. Join our momentum.

“Take Me Back” connects today’s lacrosse stars with the next generations of players from their hometowns. This month, Annabelle Finney, a 12-year-old attacker with Coppermine 2029 and a seventh grader at Maryvale Prep (Md.) — not to mention an Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse super fan — interviews AU pro and three-time Maryland captain Grace Griffin.

Annabelle: What was your biggest challenge moving from high school to college ball?

Grace: The speed of the game is something that’s very different.

Annabelle: You’re an incredible player, so what’s your greatest piece of advice for younger athletes like me?

Grace: Aw, thank you! Whenever I talk to younger players, I think about what I would want to hear when I was younger and things that helped me. The biggest things are always working hard, doing the little things right and being a great teammate.

Annabelle: That’s incredible advice. Thank you so much. Which player did you look up to the most growing up?

Grace: Two that really stick out to me are two former Terps — Alice Mercer and Katie Schwarzmann. They played at Century High School, which was right down the road from where I grew up.

Annabelle: You were a three-time captain at Maryland. What type of mindset and actions did it take to accomplish that?

Grace: It was such a huge honor. The way that we were selected was mostly team-voted. My teammates year after year believed in me and trusted me. As a captain, I realized that I had to lead in different ways. You’re with a different team, a different group of people each year. You have to adapt. My biggest thing as a leader is bringing out the best in others and instilling leadership in them.

Annabelle: How did you handle days when you didn’t play as you wanted to?

Grace: In those moments, something I learned was bringing up others around you. If you’re not having the best day, it’s the beauty of a team sport — you can really bring up the other people around you.

Annabelle: Wow, this is so cool. I saw that you grew up in Maryland, and Maryland’s so competitive. How did you stay on top?

Grace: I come from a lacrosse family as well, so it’s something I was just always around. But I played other sports, which made me want and love lacrosse more. It made me a better all-around athlete. Playing against amazing, talented athletes just makes you better.

Annabelle: Do you have any strategies on how not to be burnt out or not get tired of the game?

Grace: Make sure your off days are your off days. Lacrosse is something that I love, and it really can become your life. It’s amazing I’m able to make it such a huge part of my life, but also find that balance of having days off or having friends from outside of lacrosse I can hang out with.

Annabelle: I currently help with a younger team. Do you have any tips on how to teach them?

Grace: One of the biggest things is putting yourself in the girls’ shoes.

Annabelle: If you could choose anyone to come watch you play, who would it be?

Grace: This is going to make me emotional. Having my entire family all in one spot watching me play would be really fun. I have four siblings, and we’re all kind of spread out. The last time we were all at one game together was a while ago. That was a really good question.

Annabelle: This was such a great experience. Thank you so much!

Grace: Thank you! You had amazing questions. This was so fun.

Want to interview an icon? Email freeplay@usalacrosse.com to become one of our kid reporters.