Welcome back to NLL.com’s weekly feature, Where Are They Now? Every week we will be catching up with former NLL players to hear what they are up to. As always, if there is a former player you’d like to hear from, send us a tweet @NLL.
This week’s feature is on Gavin Prout, 40, former forward with the New York Saints (2002-2003), Colorado Mammoth (2004-2009; 2011-2013) and Edmonton Rush (2009-2011).
Prout was drafted first overall by the New York Saints in the 2001 NLL Draft. He was a First Team All-Pro in 2006 with 29 goals and 64 assists for a career-high 93 points while leading the Mammoth to the 2006 NLL championship. He was also named to the All-Pro Second Team four times in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008.
Prout holds the record for most regular season and playoff assists in a Mammoth uniform with 459 and 33, respectively; is second all-time for single season assists in Mammoth history with 67 in 2008; and has the eight most assists in NLL history with 621.
NLL.com: What are you up to these days?
Prout: I’m still working up in Toronto as the Vice President of Special Benefits Insurances Services. We handle individual dental, travel, and health insurances for people coming off of company group plans. On my days off – which are very few – I am the head coach of the Whitby Steelhawks in the Arena Lacrosse League. I help develop players who are just on the cusp of the NLL to get to the next level.
NLL.com: What does that job entail?
Prout: We provide health, dental or travel insurance depending on what the individual requires. We supplement things like prescription drugs, dental care and extended health care, (such as paramedical services and ambulance costs) that provincial government plans do not cover for individuals.
NLL.com: How did you end up in that field?:
Prout: My father was always involved with insurance. He started this particular company – it’s a family company – 25 years ago. I’ve been working here throughout my lacrosse career. I didn’t live in Colorado, New York, or Edmonton because I had this career before I played in the NLL. I saw the sacrifices my Dad had made to build his business and how successful he’s become. I work with my sister and brother. We didn’t want to see all of my Father’s hard work go down the drain and sell to someone who didn’t care about it.
NLL.com: How are you still involved in lacrosse?
Prout: I’m the head coach of the Whitby Steelhawks. Last year was our inaugural season. The league has seven teams. We won the championship last year, which was great as a new team. We’re still building our legacy, but at the end of the day we’re trying to provide players opportunities to play lacrosse to develop skills to get to the NLL.
NLL.com: What is your most fond memory of playing in the NLL?
Prout: I have a couple. My first game in Colorado is a memory I’ll cherish based on the atmosphere alone, and of course the 2006 Championship. We didn’t go in thinking we’d win it, but that was a very special year for all of us. Lastly, having my jersey retired in Colorado. Them honoring me was truly inspiring and something I’ll never forget.
NLL.com: Do you still keep in touch with any of your teammates and if so, which one (s)?
Prout: Definitely. I have a few guys around this area I still talk to. Gee Nash was my best buddy growing up and I talk to him regularly. I send out happy birthdays to guys like Jamie Hanford, and Dave Stilley. Dan Carey, Nick Carlson and Tom Ethington are three other guys I talk to a lot. There are so many guys that I created lifelong bonds with through the league.
NLL.com: Was there a moment, game, or particular interaction in your career where you realized what it takes to be successful in the league?
Prout: Not in the NLL. My learning curve was much before that. We had a historically, legendary coach by the name of Jim Bishop in Ontario when I was with the Whitby Warriors. He coached us since we were eight and until we were 20 years old. Having someone like that in your life who influences you the right ways and teaches you not just about lacrosse, but teaches you to succeed on a personal level was inspiring. We were all treated as his grandchildren.
NLL.com: That 2006 Mammoth team is talked a lot about as a team that won the NLL Cup despite not having high expectations entering the playoffs. Can you describe what it was about that team that led to a run at the Cup?
Prout: It was a number of things. One, the chemistry. That was one of the closets knit teams I’ve ever been a part of. It wasn’t just go to work, put your helmet on, go home and and go to bed. We all kept in touch throughout the season and that’s one of the major reasons we played so well together. We also all knew our roles. We didn’t try to do too much, we just did our jobs. If you get that combination as a close group and everyone knowing your roles, you become a championship caliber team.
NLL.com: You were the first overall pick in 2001 and had a sensational rookie year, notching 32 goals and 52 assists, good for 82 points. How did you successfully deal with the pressure being a number 1 pick brings?
Prout: I came in – even though I was a rookie – I had 15-years plus experience playing lacrosse. A lot of other guys didn’t. I was told I’d be leaned on, but the coaches told me don’t be too overwhelmed. As a first overall pick I was expected to produce and the coaches let me produce. You have to have great teammates and have faith in your teammates. I had great people around me and great coaches to teach me. Regardless of the wins and losses, that’s how I deem success.
NLL.com: Three-game series, who wins: the 2006 Colorado Mammoth or the 2018 Saskatchewan Rush?
Prout: I think it’s anybody’s battle. The rules have changed quite a bit. Equipment, technology and sticks have gotten better. If they played us with 2006 rules, I think we’d win. If we played with the 2018 rules, I think they beat us.
NLL.com: Favorite thing to do when you have free time?
Prout: I like to get out. I have a couple of places up north near the Blue Mountains (north of Toronto). I love to hike, ski, bike ride, swim, and go boating. It was odd the first couple of weekends after I retired – I wasn’t told where to be or what to do, but I’ve embraced that now. I like to be outdoors or take care of stuff around the house. I also love to travel and visit my parents, brother, sister, niece and nephew.
Where have you traveled recently?
Prout: I just came back from a cruise in the Bahamas. I’ll be heading somewhere warm before the winter finishes.
Prout doesn’t have a Twitter or Instagram. “I try to stay away from social media. Having a bit of privacy in my life is important. I don’t need followers, just friends and family.”
The Georgia Swarm host the Rochester Knighthawks Saturday night at 7:05 pm EST to tip off this weekend’s games. Watch this weekend’s games on B/R Live and follow the NLL on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.