It wasn’t supposed to end for Penn State on a Tuesday night against Furman in South Carolina.
Not for this team or for this player, both among the greats in Nittany Lions lacrosse history. Grant Ament’s career in Happy Valley is finished after his Sunday morning announcement on Instagram that he was moving on.
PSUs @GrantAment has announced that he will not use his sixth year, per his Instagram. Ament gave a huge boost to @PennStateMLAXs program as one of the most dominant players to come through D1 in recent years (and a class act, too). Hell be a fun one to watch in the pro ranks. pic.twitter.com/n7HxmgPq0l— Ty Xanders (@tyxanders) March 22, 2020
Ament, a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan wanted the season to end on a Monday afternoon on the field of his favorite franchise. More specifically, Memorial Day with a championship trophy over his head as Lincoln Financial Field was set to host the final four for the second consecutive year. Another athlete’s dream claimed by the Coronavirus.
Hours after his departure from Penn State was announced, the Premier Lacrosse League announced that Ament had declared to its draft as the decision everyone assumed he would make was formalized.
As Ament moves on, an offensive skill set that had never been seen before in this history of the program leaves with him. His final career tally ended with 91 goals and 189 assists for 280 points -- a Penn State record -- in 55 games as a Nittany Lions. Ament’s best season came in 2019, as he shattered almost every single season record out there. He finished the year with 96 assists which was an NCAA record. Ament also finished with 126 points in 2019 which was a Big Ten record.
Then, come May even though the Nittany Lions were knocked out in the semifinals he broke the NCAA Tournament record with 25 points. With the campaign cut short, it is impossible to know how the 2020 season would have finished both for Ament and the Nittany Lions, though he was the team’s leading scorer with 13 goals and 31 assists in seven games.
His record setting campaign came after missing the entirety of the 2018 season, suffering a foot injury that required surgery just days before the 2018 campaign was set to begin. While in his first two years Ament was a great player in the Big Ten, it was after the missed season that he entered the conversation as amongst the best in the country.
Now coach Jeff Tambroni and Penn State will have to move on without him, and potentially other key seniors that have yet to announce if they’ll use the extra year of eligibility. Those decisions will play a big part in determining whether the Nittany Lions are contenders again in 2021, or if a step back is coming and Tambroni has a little rebuild in front of him.