Former Syracuse players put skills on display at Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game

first_img Published on June 30, 2012 at 10:27 am Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 BOCA RATON, Fla. — Leave it to Jovan Miller to put on a show.The former Syracuse midfielder whose flair is affluent and whose personality is infectious seemed destined for the Bud Light Skills Competition at the Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game.So when the crowd wasn’t loud enough prior to his second attempt in the freestyle competition, Miller sprinted down the field with his hand to his ear in an attempt to rally support for “Jovi Nation.”He proceeded to jump over a young female fan, catch a ball in mid air and fire it home past the goaltender. This after an exciting behind-the-back 360 he pulled off in the first round.“I knew I was going to have to do something with my athleticism,” Miller said. “I’m not big on stick tricks and stuff, so I was going to have to be creative.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“As far as the 360, I’ve been practicing a few weeks for that. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty pumped about it.”Miller, who plays for the Charlotte Hounds, was one of five former Syracuse players participating in Saturday’s All-Star Game held at FAU Stadium on the campus of Florida Atlantic University. He was joined by former teammates Stephen Keogh and Joel White on the Young Guns team, while Casey Powell and Steven Brooks played for team Old School.In typical all-star fashion, there was little defense on Saturday with team Old School holding on for an 18-17 win. But that didn’t matter to the crowd of close to 5,000 that was enthralled by a flurry of behind-the-back, between-the-legs and other outrageous shot attempts. And when Brooks scored the game-winning goal with less than two minutes to go, Syracuse had left its imprint firmly on Major League Lacrosse.The SU players put on a clinic at the skills competition held at halftime as well. In addition to Miller participating in the freestyle competition, White, a midfielder who plays for the Rochester Rattlers, took home the title in the obstacle course and Brooks finished second in the speed-shooting challenge.Miller ultimately fell just short to Hamilton Nationals goalie Brett Queener, who tossed his stick in the air and kicked the ball into the net after a series of fancy fakes and dance moves. Yes, dance moves.White navigated the obstacle course with ease, showing off the foot speed that made him a college All-American to cruise to a victory in 14.62 seconds.“This opportunity is just great,” White said. “It’s something you will cherish being out here with all this talent.”And to show that the old guys still have it, Brooks, a midfielder for the Chesapeake Bayhawks who graduated from SU in 2008, clocked in at 105 miles per hour on his two attempts in the speed-shooting event. He finished second to Kyle Hartzell, 6-foot-2 defender, who tied the MLL record with a 111 mile-per-hour rocket.As for the game itself, the oldest SU alum was arguably the most impressive. Powell, who graduated from Syracuse in 1998 and is the all-time leading scorer in MLL history, scored two goals and had one assist.His second goal of the game came off a beautiful maneuver that began behind the goal. He darted out in front of the crease and scored high on the near post after a low fake.“He’s unbelievable, man, I’ll tell you what,” White said. “It’s an honor to be on the field with him.”Miller, who treated the game as a glorified freestyle competition anyway, impressed the fans with his creative dunk-like attempt in the first quarter. He took a running start and leapt audaciously from behind the goal, attempting to go over the top and slam the ball into the net.Though the attempt went awry, he couldn’t help but smile. Miller has always been an entertainer, and Saturday’s All-Star game was the perfect setting.“It’s an All-Star game, so I get to play around for a bit,” Miller said. “I absolutely loved it. It was everything I thought it would be.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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