First-round focus: Cam Flint brings 2-way prowess to young Minnesota Swarm squad

Cameron Flint
Cameron Flint

There are a lot of things Cameron Flint can do with a lacrosse stick, that much is obvious. Otherwise, the Minnesota Swarm wouldn’t have bothered to make him the No. 4 overall pick in September’s National Lacrosse League entry draft. Offense, defense, transition, Flint has the tools to get it all done, and get it done well. And even though it’s been a while since Flint played the box version of lacrosse, he’s confident the adjustment will come naturally. Part of the optimism is confidence, yes, but the other part is pure adrenaline. “It’s really exciting,” the 5-foot-11, 190-pound right-hander out of Georgetown, Ontario, told ILIndoor.com. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the National Lacrosse League.” Being drafted is just part of the dream, so with camps set to open soon, Flint says he’ll be ready to complete the mission.

“I’ve been out of the game for a while,” he said. “But I’ve kept a stick in my hand. It’ll take me a few sessions to get back into it, but I’m pretty confident in my ability.”

Playing Junior A ball with the Brampton Excelsiors, but not since 2010, Flint isn’t the type to pile up a ton of points. What he is is a reliable player at both ends of the floor with plenty of speed and agility to navigate his way from the back to the front. Add to that his IQ, and the ability to make smart decisions with the ball, and the Swarm have themselves a solid and complete baller.

“I pride myself in being a 2-way player,” he said. “And going to Minnesota is perfect. They like to get up the floor and so do I. I like staying out there on offense.”

Sounds as if there’s a new demand for an old style, where players once helped make stops on defense then ran the offense instead of making way for offensive specialists. Does Flint believe this what we’re seeing in the NLL?

“I do, especially with the shrinking rosters this year,” said Flint, who was invited to tryouts for Team Canada for the 2014 world championships. “You need guys out there that are more versatile.”

As talented as Flint may be in that regard, there’s still the matter of making the adjustment to the pro game so he can make the team. Fitness won’t be a question for the USILA first-team All-American midfielder out of the University of Denver. He played his rookie Major League Lacrosse season with the Boston Cannons, scoring 17 points (8-9) in 7 games. But going to the NLL is sort of like a valedictorian going to an Ivy League school: Everyone there is good.

“They say it’s like the jump from minor to junior,” Flint said of advice he’s received from friends. “But everybody is bigger, faster and stronger. Gaps you used to see may not be there anymore and they close a lot faster.”

It’s a tall order, for sure, but Flint embraces it.

“I’ve always had pretty good vision,” he said. “I’ll have to find new ways to find guys and new ways to get myself open.”

Pressure situations are nothing new to Flint. So getting his game on in Minnesota figures to be just 1 more challenge met and defeated by the time the new NLL season rolls around.

Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at bob.chavez@nllinsider.com or go to RochesterSports.com.

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