Chris Goldberg of PhillyLacrosse.com spoke with Wings rookie Tucker Durkin this week to discuss his new team in his old stomping grounds.
Tucker Durkin said that coming home to play for the Philadelphia Wings is a “dream come true.”
“I remember growing up and going to Wings games with my family,” said the La Salle graduate who was selected by the Wings with 19th pick of the 2013 National Lacrosse League draft. “Now to have the opportunity to play for Wings is awesome.”
Durkin, who heads to rookie camp later this month, admits he faces a big challenge in transitioning to the indoor game.
His outdoor success has been well documented. Durkin, a defenseman, helped lead La Salle to two state championships and was named the Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year in 2009. He was a three-time USILA All-American for Johns Hopkins and twice was named the William C. Schmeisser Award winner (NCAA’s most outstanding defenseman in men’s college lacrosse).
Then this summer he made an immediate impact in the MLL by earning All-Rookie and finishing an amazing fourth in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year as a member of the Hamilton Nationals.
But Durkin is aware of the learning curve of playing the indoor game.
“Being an American, learning the indoor game is a challenge,” said Durkin. But I look forward to challenges.
“I am really excited. I played indoor a few summers ago in the Rizzo Box League and I am playing in a Fall indoor league in Baltimore. It’s definitely a different game and there are adjustments. I am getting used to playing with a short stick.”
Durkin will be re-united with some of his Hamilton teammates who also play on the Wings – most notably Wings captain Brodie Merrill and ace scorer Kevin Crowley.
“I hope to pick up a lot from the great players on the Wings,” said Durkin. I am ready to learn and get after it.”
Durkin said his success at the professional game gives him some confidence heading to camp.
“I think the biggest thing is that you don’t practice every day and that you’re not with your team to work out like you were in college,” he said. “You have to take a lot of ownership and do the work on your own.
“I definitely understand there is going to be a learning curve. I haven’t played indoor lacrosse my entire life, but I had some success outdoor professionally and that gives me some confidence.”