For Ohio Machine defender Greg Bice, lacrosse isn’t just a game, it’s his livelihood. When not shutting down opponents on the field, Greg is either running his lacrosse company, Resolute Lacrosse, or serving on the advisory board of the non-profit organization Lacrosse the Nations. Greg’s off-the-field work and dedication to the sport resulted in being named the New Balance’s Sportsman of the Year in 2007 and 2011.
Greg’s passion for lacrosse began in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, where he played lacrosse for St. Mary’s Hall High School. At St. Mary’s Hall, Greg was named an All-American and helped lead the team to two State Championships.
After high school, Greg started his collegiate career at The Ohio State University. As a Buckeye, Greg spurred the team to two straight NCAA Championship tournament appearances in 2003 and 2004, resulting in being named the Great West Lacrosse League Player of the Year. Greg ended his collegiate career in 2004 and graduated from OSU with a degree in Welding Engineering.
Greg kicked off his professional lacrosse career immediately after graduating, playing with the Philadelphia Barrage. Greg only played one game with the team but was drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Riptide in the 2006 Supplemental Draft. As a member of the Riptide, Greg reached the MLL Finals and was named a MLL All-Star in 2007 while scooping up 39 groundballs in 14 games. Greg joined Chicago in 2009, serving as team captain for two years. During his time with Chicago, Greg played in 20 games, scoring six goals and collecting 48 groundballs.
After playing for Chicago, Greg joined the Rochester Rattlers for the 2011 season before being traded to the Machine along with Anthony Kelly, Stefan Schroder and Brett Garber in September 2011. Greg is now entering his ninth season and is excited to represent the state of Ohio in the 2012 inaugural season.
1. What made you choose lacrosse over all the other sports out there?
I think lacrosse chose me. I really do not know how I ended up here, but it goes something like this. Played in Texas at a school with no football team. Loved the sport. Worked hard. Played at The OSU. Now in MLL. I do not know if I actually answered the question, but we will leave it at that.
2. When you were little, did you expect to be one of the best players in the world?
No, but I did want to be a professional athlete, what kid doesn’t? I never had the goal of being one of the best players in the world. I loved playing lacrosse, so that is what I did and I never worried about too much else. Sports were an outlet for me as a child and I never thought it would take me this far.
3. What is some advice you would give to those youth players hoping to make it to MLL status one day?
Play the game because you love to compete and be around your friends. Play every day as hard as you can and do not worry about anything else. Control what you can control and enjoy it.
4. Why do you love lacrosse?
I love my teammates and the lacrosse community.
5. Who has been your favorite person to work with up to this point in your career? (College or Pro)
Coach Joe Breschi and Coach Earl Bill. I have been blessed with great coaching and am thankful that for all the life lessons they taught me. If lacrosse is only about winning, we are missing the true meaning of sport and the life lessons that it can teach. I was fortunate enough to have these two coaches in my life who get what life is truly about and who used lacrosse as a platform to teach.
6. Who is your lacrosse role model?
Never had one. Growing up in Texas in the 90s I had no clue what teams were good at lacrosse and did not know who any of the good players were. Gary Gait came to my high school and did a talk and I was thinking, “Who is this guy?” Now my lacrosse role model is Anthony, the “Atrain,” Kelly because he is so strong and has the best motogrip faceoff in the league.
7. What has been your favorite moment in your pro lacrosse career so far?
Playing in the MLL championship game with the LA Riptide and playing with my best bud Anthony Kelly for the past 6 years.
8. What is one thing that you try to improve on with your playing style?
Angles. My approaches and body position need to a lot better than they used to as I get older, slower and uglier (my wife disagrees) and everyone I play against gets younger, faster and better looking. I also work on my communication skills, which makes everyone around me a better player.
9. What are your thoughts on being part of the Ohio Machine inaugural season?
Super PUMPED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (hopefully those exclamation points give you an idea of my PUMPED UPEDNESS)
10. What are you looking forward to the most this upcoming season?
The chance to compete with quality guys and play for a championship
11. What is one thing you hope to get out of this upcoming season with the Machine?
12. How do you spend your offseason?
I do a lot of pushups, planks, and squat thrusts. And I jump rope like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV, the one where he defeats communism. If anyone wants to be a good defenseman, they need to hit the JUMP ROPE!
13. What is your typical pregame meal?
I like to eat a big breakfast (Fitness burrito with extra buffalo steak). Take a nap and then snack a couple of hours before the game on a Cliff Bar and maybe a smoothie if I am in the mood.
14. How do you prepare for an upcoming game?
Workout hard during the week and get my mind right. I always remind myself that I never know how many games I have left and that if this game is my last, I want it to be my best.
15. How do you categorize a season as successful?
Playing as hard as I can every game for my teammates, coaches and fans. Sellout every play!
16. Do you have any favorite restaurants in Columbus?
North Star Café and Dunkin Donuts
17. Who is your favorite Columbus team, besides the Machine?
The Ohio State University, as if that was a serious question.
18. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
1 John 3:18 – “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth.”
19. What are three words that would describe who you are?
Stronger than Atrain
Favorite sport outside of lacrosse: Are pushups considered a sport? If so, then pushups. If pushups are not considered a sport, then Basketball and soccer to play, football to watch.
Favorite part about lacrosse: The community and my teammates
Favorite type of food: Sandwiches
Favorite restaurant: North Star Café
Favorite place in the world you’ve been to: Honduras. Love the people.
Favorite place you would like to visit but haven’t: Israel and India
Favorite lacrosse moment/experience: Working with Lacrosse the Nations and coaching a second year high school program to the playoffs (Middle Creek High School in NC)
Most influential person in your life: Jesus Christ and then my wife who I love so very much and am so blessed to have in my life.
Top 3 favorite movies: Princess Bride, Goonies, Vision Quest, Zoolander, Nacho Libre, pretty much anything awesome. I am pretty sure that Hollywood stopped making good movies when my wife and I moved to Honduras in 2008. Actually they stopped making good movies long before then. I cannot remember the last time I was pumped to see a movie in the theater? When was the last time you wanted to see a recent movie as badly as Con Air, The Rock or Point Break? Exactly.
Top 5 favorite bands/artists: I don’t really have a top 5…I like it all – Christian, Texas Country, Classic Rock, Classical, The 80s and 90s for sure, Indie and Alternative. The only thing I do not like new is rap, country pop and pop.
One thing you want to do but never done before: Win an MLL Championship