Binghamton University made a big splash on Long Island this week.
As first reported at Twitter.com/Joe_Lombardi, the Bearcats picked up a pair of commitments from rising junior standouts from Long Island – Sachem East midfielder Joe Licata and Massapequa attackman Griffin Konen.
Both players performed well last week at the Maverik Showtime Lacrosse National Recruiting Spotlight at Western Connecticut State University.
Konen is an unselfish feeder/finisher with outstanding field vision and a high lacrosse IQ. His father, Jim Konen, is the head coach at Hauppauge High School.
What were the main factors in your decision?
The No. 1 consideration for me when looking at schools was the quality of the education. I am interested in becoming a doctor and the programs that Binghamton has to offer will definitely give me an advantage.
It was also important that I felt comfortable with my surroundings. The coaches at Binghamton really seem like good people who care about their athletes, not only on the field, but in the classroom as well. I was fortunate enough to attend their Prospect Day and was invited back for a visit where we got to observe a practice. The coaches were great, and the practice was upbeat and intense.
As if this decision wasn’t already a no brainer for me – one of my buddies, (Sachem East rising junior midfielder) Joe Licata, committed to Binghamton the same day that I did.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
This all happened so fast that I didn’t really have a chance to go on many visits. I would check out campuses as I traveled from tournament to tournament, and I would research the schools to see which had the programs that I was interested in. I was looking into SUNY Albany and Florida Tech, but my No. 1 was always Binghamton.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I would say that my biggest strength is my lacrosse IQ. I know where to be on the field at all times. I would probably describe my style of play as a blend between the box and field game. I can handle pressure on the outside, but I am also crafty on the inside. I am an unselfish player who always looks to make the extra pass.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
Right now, I am currently working to improve my speed and strength to help me become a better dodger. I am also always working on my shooting. I need to keep pushing myself to improve every aspect of my game.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I was first introduced to lacrosse when my dad dropped my first stick into my crib. Before I could even walk I had my stick with me all the time. Growing up I also played football, baseball and basketball and was on a swim team. I also wrestled for a few seasons. I run cross country for my school and I also love to surf and snowboard.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for the South Shore Ballers with fellow Binghamton commit Joe Licata. We are not part of any travel organization, we just have one team with a great group of guys that have stayed together for the past couple of years. I participated in the Maverick Showtime Recruiting Spotlight for the past 2 years. I also represented Long Island in the Brine All-American National Lacrosse Classic in Boyds, Md., this July. I will be attending Trilogy’s Academic Aces at the end of July.
Any final thoughts?
I want to thank my father Jim Konen for being my coach and mentor since I was in diapers. He has taught me everything I know. He has made my entire lacrosse experience unforgettable and always positive. I want to thank my mom, Shannon, for supporting me through all of my ups and downs, and my brother Bailey, who was dragged to all of my games growing up and is still my biggest fan.
I also owe a huge thank you to Paul Carcaterra, who has been a great friend and mentor to me since I was just a little boy attending No Limit Camp at Greenvale. He’s a smart, generous and very knowledgeable man who just loves the game and tries to help others love it just as much. He gave me opportunities that I never could have dreamed of and for which I will always be grateful.
I would also like to thank Coach Radomski , O’Brien, Sheehan, Draper, and the rest of the Massapequa coaching staff for pulling the team together this year to win a County Championship.
And finally, I would like to thank my teammates over the past couple of years who have made this journey so much fun.
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