The Daily Princetonian caught up with Marquez White, a first-year on the men’s lacrosse team, during his 2020 indoor season, to discuss his high school lacrosse career, recruiting process, and unusual pre-game ritual.
The Daily Princetonian: Alright, to begin, how did you get into playing lacrosse?
Marquez White: When I was in first grade, one of my family friends was a big high school lacrosse player, and when he moved to the west coast, he gave me my first lacrosse stick. I’ve been playing ever since.
DP: What position do you currently play, and what do you believe are some important qualities to have at that position?
MW: I'm a midfielder, and I think one important quality as a midfielder specifically is speed since you have to run the length of the field. It’s super critical in order to be good on both defense and on offense. And then another important quality is something we call lacrosse IQ. It's just kind of like an awareness of what's going on in the game and how to read the other team.
DP: What was the lacrosse scene like back in San Diego and on the West Coast in general?
MW: Back in San Diego, there were some good lacrosse players, so my high school team was pretty good. We had a couple kids who were pretty committed to the sport and really enjoyed playing it. And then there were some kids who played it for fun as well. Coming out here, it's different because everyone on my team is super into the sport, and it's fun to be in that environment.
DP: Along that line, how has playing lacrosse been different in high school and college?
MW: Like I said, a lot of kids in high school just kind of played for fun, so it was a little more relaxed, and we were always having a good time. In college, everyone's still having a great time because we all love lacrosse, but it's definitely more intense and serious since we all want to get better.
DP: Going back to high school, what was it like being named an All American your senior year?
MW: That was really fun. I remember the day they announced the All Americans and seeing my name on that list was pretty sick. My childhood dream finally becoming a reality was awesome.
DP: Were you able to play in the game?
MW: Unfortunately, they couldn’t host the game because of COVID, but getting that honor was still really cool.
DP: Did you have any other fun memories from playing in high school?
MW: In high school? Let me think. I would definitely say setting the record at 69 for most goals in a single season during my junior year.
DP: Wow, that’s really impressive. What's the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you in a game?
MW: I think my most embarrassing moment happened in sixth grade. I ate cereal before my game, which was not a smart move. And then I went to face off, and as I was going down, I threw up all over the all over the field. It was disgusting.
DP: What was your recruiting process like, and how did you end up deciding on Princeton for lacrosse?
MW: So my recruiting journey was kind of crazy. During my freshman year, I decided to commit to Syracuse for lacrosse, and I stayed committed to Syracuse until my junior year. And then I took official visits to different schools and decided on Princeton because they have a good lacrosse team, and the academics really put it over the top. I think they have changed the rule now so you can’t commit until you’re a junior, which I’m a fan of because being recruited in 8th grade is just too early and not that healthy. I’m really happy with my final decision though.
DP: What does Princeton's lacrosse history look like?
MW: In the late ‘90s, I believe they won the national championship like five times, so there's definitely a rich history here. Also, the lacrosse alumni stay really well connected, and they're always at the games. I’m looking forward to becoming a part of that history next season.
DP: What has this season looked like for lacrosse?
MW: So we've only been practicing, and unfortunately, we're not going to end up having any games. But the practices have been good since half our team is still enrolled. We've been practicing with about 20 guys and have been focusing more on individual skill development rather than team offense and defense.
DP: Did you ever consider taking a gap year?
MW: I did consider it at first, and it was a tough decision. But I think being a freshman, I wouldn't have had anything to do if I took the gap year, so I'm glad I got my college career started.
DP: What has it been like balancing schoolwork and your athletic commitments?
MW: It's been pretty tough because we practice every day, which means there’s less time to do work. But at the same time, it provides a structure for me. So, since I have less time, I'm forced to do work during certain windows, which helps me manage. Overall though, just getting to be on campus, meet some new people, and practice with the guys has been a good experience.
DP: Have you liked your residential college so far?
MW: Yeah, the Forbes annex hasn’t been too bad, but it’s a tough situation because I’m on the fourth floor. We have a really good community here though so it’s been fun.
DP: What classes have you really enjoyed, and which ones have been the most work?
MW: The class I think I've enjoyed the most is a politics class about Woodrow Wilson. It's just been interesting getting his history and getting to know more about Princeton. Then the class that has been the most work is definitely mol bio. It’s a tough class for sure.
DP: Outside of lacrosse, like what kind of things do you like to do?
MW: I like to play cornhole. I'm actually a huge cornhole player. I also like to play basketball.
DP: Now, for a few fun questions. If you could only eat at one fast food place or restaurant for the rest of your life, where would it be?
MW: Being a San Diego guy, it’s going to sound pretty typical but In-N-Out for sure.
DP: If you could visit any country, where would you go?
MW: I think I would go to a country in South America, probably Brazil.
DP: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
MW: So I haven't done it in forever since there haven’t been any games, but one pregame ritual I do is take a shot of pickle juice. Yeah, it's kind of gross, but it helps with cramps, so it’s become a ritual for me.
DP: What’s one movie you will never get tired of?
MW: Probably Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. The Joker was a really cool villain.
DP: Finally, what’s your favorite way to procrastinate?
MW: Being on campus, it’s really easy to get caught in the dining hall for hours talking to other people.
DP: Thank you for your time.
MW: No problem at all.