12/28/11 2:00 PM
Connor Martin, a Lake Oswego, Oregon native, has quickly become one of the biggest personalities in Major League Lacrosse in just two years with his comical antics, boisterous individuality and scoring ability. Connor, the Machine’s first Expansion Draft pick, is now bringing his Con Bro Chill persona to Ohio and fans couldn’t be more excited to watch him light up the field in May.
True to form, Connor's path to the pros has been much different than your typical MLL player. He first began making a name for himself at Chapman University in California, where he finished his college career with 168 goals and 86 assists, totaling 254 points in 63 games. He earned several honors, including First Team All-American as a junior and senior, and was also named MCLA Player of the Year his junior year. He also assisted his team to back-to-back MCLA Championship appearances.
Even though most MLL players hail primarily from Division I NCAA programs, Connor got the chance he dreamed of when he was selected by the Denver Outlaws in 2010 as only the second MCLA player ever drafted into the MLL. Connor went on to not only set a number of firsts for an MCLA player during his rookie season but in his MLL debut, he netted a hat trick and one assist earning him the MLL Rookie of the Week award. The following season, Connor proved that he was more than just Inside Lacrosse’s 2011 Personality of the Year when he scored 10 goals and recorded three assists in five games for a total of 13 points.
Now for the 2012 season with the Machine, Connor is setting his eyes on nothing less than a Championship in the team’s inaugural season. “If you’re not trying to win, then either you’ve never had it or you hate having fun,” said Connor.
1. What made you choose lacrosse over all the other sports out there?
It was the only one I got good at. I was a big skateboarder, snowboarder, surfer guy growing up and then I found lacrosse. I immediately fell in love with it and sort of dedicated my life to it. Turns out lax is fun.
2. When you were little, did you expect to be one of the best players in the world?
When I was little I didn’t know what lacrosse was. I wanted to be Tony Hawk, but I’m very happy with pro lax.
3. What is some advice you would give to those youth players hoping to make it to MLL status one day?
If I can do it, you can.
4. Why do you love lacrosse?
Anyone can play it and be successful at it and enjoy it. I don’t care if you’re fast, slow, fat, skinny, short, tall, stupid, smart, hairy, or have super sweet calves, you can figure out a way to be a part of this great game.
5. Who has been your favorite person to work with up to this point in your career? (College or Pro)
Brendan Mundorf was great to learn from and play with in Denver. His work ethic and the way he goes hard taught me so much the last two years in Denver. Lorne Smith of Princeton also gave me so much when I was a youngster in Oregon. Also, Pro Goalie Ben Brown of the Outlaws would always take shots with me. Derek Mills from Chaptown I played about 3,000 hours of lacrosse with and then my boy in Oregon Matt Hundhammer was there every day shooting with me. You need good people to push you and inspire you to get better if you’re going to do anything.
6. Who is your lacrosse role model?
I think everyone should play like Brendan Mundorf…the guy is fundamentally sound, scores a million goals, is a team player and goes harder and as fearlessly as anyone.
7. What has been your favorite moment in your pro lacrosse career so far?
I think that first game I had in Denver when I was the club player who got a shot to play in a MLL game and scored three goals and nearly broke my neck on one of them. It was about as serendipitous of a game as I could remember. If that didn’t happen, I don’t think I would be getting the shots I am now in Ohio and indoor.
8. What is one thing that you try to improve on with your playing style?
I’m always getting better. If you stop, you might get worse. So much of playing at a higher level is mental. You need to be confident in what you are good at and train yourself to be comfortable just doing what you do on the field. If I play my game and let the game come to me, then I can contribute in the MLL. Specifically, I want to develop my vision and feeding game. I got a goal scorer mentality but I want to hook it up for my buds too.
9. What are your thoughts on being part of the Ohio Machine inaugural season?
I am extremely pumped for a fresh start and real opportunity to play and grow the game I love. This summer is gonna be Boom Town!
10. What are you looking forward to the most this upcoming season?
Playing lax and hanging with some good men.
11. What is one thing you hope to get out of this upcoming season with the Machine?
A ring. If you’re not trying to win, than either you’ve never had it or you hate having fun.
12. How do you spend your offseason?
So far I have spent my offseason making Con Bro Chill videos and running our band. We are shooting for the moon over here at CBC. New album, new videos, new live show. It’s go time!
13. Do you have any game day superstitions?
I’ve ditched them. Be yourself, play your game and trust the big man.
14. What is your typical pregame meal?
I’m a mess eating on game day. Still get nervous as a pancake! But I don’t eat pancakes, usually chicken.
15. How do you prepare for an upcoming game?
Visualization is real. Do it, you’d be surprised what you’ll do in a game. Sometimes I black out and need to watch footage of what the heck happened to make sure it was real.
16. How do you categorize a season as successful?
There’s ultimate success and then there is having fun. I’m gonna have fun because it’s lacrosse and it’s competitive and it’s for the beautiful fans of Columbus. But you know we’re here for one thing and that’s to win that shippy ship!
17. Do you have any favorite restaurants in Columbus?
Big time. I love Ol’ Rodney’s Pancake Batter House.
18. Who is your favorite Columbus team, besides the Machine?
I just want to dot the eye one game.
19. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
20. What are three words that would describe who you are?
I’m all over the place. Sorry that’s like 5.
Favorite sport outside of lacrosse: Ping Pong
Favorite part about lacrosse: Playing at the highest level with good dudes. And a sweet dive goal.
Favorite type of food: Mom’s Spaghetti
Favorite restaurant: Your Thanksgiving
Favorite place in the world you’ve been to: A huge Muslim rug store in Morocco and the Oregon Coast epic cliffs
Favorite place you would like to visit but haven’t: Croatia, the only place I want Con Bro Chill to really blow up
Favorite lacrosse moment/experience: When I was drafted to the MLL and then when I got to play my first game in the MLL.
Most influential person in your life: My Brother SAMM
Top 3 favorite movies: Dumb and Dumber, Harry Potter and Shawshank Redemption
Top 5 favorite bands/artists: Beatles, The Killers, Queen, Coldplay, and bumpin’ Party Time Pop Music
One thing you want to do but never done before: Been to Ohio
To see Connor in action next year, purchase your own Ohio Machine 2012 inaugural season tickets, which are starting at only $100 for all seven home games! Sections are filling up fast so make sure you get in today! Click here to purchase your tickets today.