Vancouver Stealth forward Joel McCready is one heck of a teammate, and he has the hardware to prove it.
The Langley-based Stealth announced last week that forward McCready has been named the National Lacrosse League (NLL) Teammate of the Year.
The announcement was made Sept. 29 during the 2015 NLL Season Awards and Hall of Fame ceremony at Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, Ont.
It marked the first time the award was ever handed out by the league.
“I am just honoured to win this award,” McCready said. “To have all the guys that you battle with all the time vote for you and to even think about you that way means a lot to me.”
McCready’s first season with the Stealth was a memorable one, as he recorded his best statistical NLL campaign with career highs in goals (30), assists (21), and points (51) in 18 games.
Although he had a great season, he was just as valuable amongst his teammates.
“Joel is an absolute team leader. He is a fierce competitor on the floor, but in the room he always has a big smile on his face,” Stealth head coach Dan Perreault said. “He is very well respected within his teammates, the community, and the entire organization.”
The St. Catharines, Ont., native is entering his sixth season in the NLL and second with the Stealth.
In September 2014, he was acquired in a trade with the Rochester Knighthawks.
“My family has always been so supportive of me and I can’t thank them enough for all they have done. Lacrosse wise, I owe a lot to my Grandpa and Uncle Pat [McCready], as they were the ones that taught me how to play the game,” McCready said. “It’s times like this though, when I think about my little daughter Tenley and my wife Jessica. She holds down the fort while I go out and play, so she is a rock star.”
The Stealth open their 2016 NLL schedule at the Langley Events Centre on January 9 against the New England Black Wolves at 7:00pm PST.