MLL Alumni Spotlight: Jay Jalbert
January 29, 2020 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) News Release
Jay Jalbert is a Hall of Famer, who was with MLL during its inaugural season, and stood out among lacrosse legends through strong work ethic and grit. The former midfielder and 2003 MLL MLVP, now 42, built an impressive resume that stands out amongst some of the best players in MLL history.
From early on, Jalbert was destined to be a natural athlete. His father, Joe Jalbert, is a national champion in downhill skiing. Jay Jalbert, himself, was gaining attention for his athletic potential even before starting high school. During his Hall of Fame Induction speech in 2014, Jalbert recalls his high school lacrosse coach cornering him when he was in eighth grade and telling him that if he got his stuff together, he could play Division I lacrosse (Jalbert 2014). Just making a D1 team was quite the understatement for Jalbert's potential.
During his high school career, Jalbert was named as an All-American. He went on to play for the University of Virginia, following in the footsteps of his older brother. Jalbert played for the Cavaliers from 1997-2000 as an attack and midfielder. In 1998, he was an All-American Honorable Mention. In 1999, he earned first team All-American honors, was named to the All-American Tournament Team, received the Lt. Donald McLoughlin Award (best midfielder in the nation), and won the National Championship with Virginia. To top it all off, he was again named a first team All-American in 2000.
Jalbert finished his collegiate career ranked 9th all-time at Virginia in career goals, posting 112 goals in 58 games. He is also known for popularizing the "swim move" or "swim dodge", which was his trick to get around opposing players by lifting his stick over their heads.
To kick off his professional lacrosse career, he was selected as the 16th pick in the 2000 NLL draft. 2001 was his first year in the league, and he was able to be a part of the championship team, the Philadelphia Wings. When beginning his career in the 'box game', Jalbert recalled how hard this transition was for him, as he had never played this type of game before. He said he eventually learned "sometimes less is more" (Jalbert, 2019). The star further explains that in this type of play, "The dodges don't have to be as big. The shots don't have to be as hard. Everything is smaller, so you need to do everything on a smaller space. You have to do everything a little less and a little better" (Jalbert, 2019).
After winning the 2001 championship with the Wings, he took a two-year break from the NLL. He came back to the league from 2004-2006 as a member of the Colorado Mammoth. He was a part of the Western Division All-Star Team in both 2004 and 2006. 2006 was his last season with the team, as he could not play in 2007 due to an injury, but was able to finish strong by earning his second championship win. Despite what he believed to be a slow start to his indoor career, he finished with 57 goals and 83 assists (statscrew.com).
During this same time, Jalbert was the MLL stand-out we remember. He came into the league during its inaugural season, having been picked up by the New Jersey Pride. He played for the Pride in 2001 and 2002. Prior to the 2003 season, he was traded to the Lizards. The Lizards counted their lucky stars as Jalbert's 2003 MLL Championship MVP performance saw the Steinfeld trophy return to Long Island.
By the end of his MLL career, Jay Jalbert had won a Steinfeld Trophy, was named MVP, played in every All-Star game through 2005 and racked up 136 goals and 57 assists. Not only did he play in Major League Lacrosse and the National Lacrosse League, but he was also a member of the U.S. National Team that played in the 2006 World Lacrosse Championships in London, Ontario. There, he was named Best Midfielder and earned All-World Honors. In recognition of his contribution to the sport and his immeasurable success, Jalbert was inducted into the 2014 class of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Currently, Jalbert is still involved in the sports world from the business side. He is the Vice President of Production Services and Creative Director for his family-run business, Jalbert Productions International (JPI). According to Jalbert, they work with a number of clients such as Red Bull, Under Armour, the New York Rangers, Ralph Lauren, and more. His favorite part about the job is traveling. In an interview with NLL, he expressed his excitement to shoot in Colorado with Olympian, Lindsey Vonn. Besides his work with JPI, he has also co-founded Maverik Lacrosse and Xcelerate lacrosse camps.
Along the way, Jalbert has credited many people for his success, from his childhood neighbors and friends, to all of his fellow teammates and coaches. In his 2014 Hall of Fame Speech, he says "community, teammates and friends" are what lacrosse means to him. As for his opinion on the MLL specifically, Jalbert said "I think it's a great product, it's a great game and...it's gonna be around for years to come".
Check out the full list of Jay Jalbert's awards and honors below. Let us know on Twitter what former MLL player you want to see featured, @MLL_Lacrosse
Awards and Honors: Jay Jalbert
ILF World Championships All-World (2006)
ILF World Championships Best Midfielder Award (2006)
MLL MVP (2003)
MLL All-Star (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005)
NLL All-Star (2004, 2005, 2006)
NCAA McLaughlin Award - Division I Midfielder of the Year (1999)
NCAA 1st Team All-American (1999, 2000)
NCAA Honorable Mention All-American (1998)
ACC 50th Anniversary Men's Lacrosse Team (2002)
ACC Tournament MVP (1999)
All-ACC Team (1999, 2000)
ACC All-Tournament Team (1998, 1999, 2000)
High School All-American (1995, 1996)
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