When Andrew Kew was still on the board at number three, the animated effects rained down on Rich Lisk’s phone.
Expected by many to go first overall in the 2019 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft, Kew had yet to be selected when it was the New England Black Wolves’ turn to make the third pick of the night.
Lisk, the Black Wolves General Manager, couldn’t believe his fortunes.
“It was like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for us,” Lisk said. “He actually roomed with one of our players (Colton Watkinson) at Chesapeake in the MLL. I told him ‘we got your boy Kew,’ and he said he couldn’t believe it. I had confetti coming down on my phone.”
That’s the type of excitement surrounding the Oakville, Ontario native who torched the NCAA Division II Sunshine State Conference with 61 goals in 19 games. Kew said he followed the mock drafts but wasn’t too phased when he had to wait a few extra minutes to hear his name called.
“Yeah, I followed them, but you don’t really know what’s going to happen in these drafts and what teams need,” Kew said. “So I followed it a little bit, but you try not to read into it too much.”
He now sees it as an opportunity to make a splash quickly.
“Obviously it would be nice to go first overall, but I think, at the same time, the opportunity to play anywhere in this league and have an impact right away is something I’ve just dreamed about since I was young,” Kew said. “And I think I can do that with New England.”
Kew’s college coaches, who traveled with him to Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia to be part of the special day, believe that he’s destined to be a star in the NLL.
“He’s already a great box player,” University of Tampa Lacrosse Head Coach Rory Whipple said. “He’s got a great work ethic. He’s in the weight room, he’s doing yoga, he’s got great character. I really think he’s going to be an outstanding player.”
Kew scored a school record 259 career goals during his career at Tampa and was the Sunshine State All-Conference Player of the Year in 2019. He broke a Division II record with 86 goals in his sophomore season.
“He’s a great person and a great leader,” Whipple said. “I wish him all the success, and he’ll certainly prove it in box lacrosse.”
Kew already has a strong box lacrosse background as he grew up playing it in Ontario before adapting to the field game late in his high school career. The Black Wolves believe Kew has all the tools to make an instant impression on the 2019-20 season.
“I thought this is great,” Lisk said. “[Kew] was a guy that, last year when we traded Kevin Crowley for this pick, we wanted an offensive guy and a lefty. We’ve never had an offensive lefty that was a pure shooter, and that’s who we zeroed in on this draft.”
Kew sees it as a perfect match and can’t wait to be on the big stage, a completely different stage than the one on draft night.
“When I was on stage, I was just worried about not falling,” Kew said with a laugh of his draft night experience. “My mom and dad were there, and just the looks on their faces just makes it all worth it for me.”