I grew up in Huntington, NY which is on the north shore of Long Island. I have two younger sisters and an older brother. I loved sports growing up and played lacrosse, baseball, and soccer at the youth level. I learned a lot about the game of lacrosse by going to some camps and watching a lot of lacrosse. It was rarely on T.V. so when it was aired, I would tape the games and watch it over and over. My goal was to try to emulate the players’ moves and skills in my backyard.
I went to a small school called Harborfields High School. We had a great lacrosse program with a lot of tradition. My most memorable team was my sophomore year when we played in the Suffolk County class “A” championship (as a “B” school) and lost to lacrosse powerhouse Ward Melville in double overtime. We went on to play in the Long Island Class B championship and ended up losing to Elmont. My senior year we also lost in the LI championship to Elmont. As a sophomore, I was an alternate on the Long Island Empire State Team, and, in my junior year, won the gold with the LI Empire team.
I was being recruited by just about every major Division I team including Maryland, North Carolina, and Syracuse.
When I went on my recruiting trip to UMass I fell in love with the place. The institution, the town, and the lacrosse atmosphere was simply awesome. I was recruited by the late and legendary, Dick Garber who was one of the finest coaches ever and I just believed in what he had to say. There were so many stars there at the time, lacrosse legends such as Sal LoCascio, Tim Soudan, Scott Hiller, Jim Macaleavy, and Rob Codignotto. Coach Garber explained that he felt his team was just a few players away from a special run. I felt that it would be a great place for me. It would be so cool and exciting to go to school that had never been to the final four rather than one who going there every year was common place. In a sense, I was wrong because we never did make that special run so I didn’t get to experience the NCAA Final Four; however, I wouldn’t change my selection for anything. I got an incredible education, met a ton of great people, and had the ability to be creative and let my game evolve – and I had an absolute ball.
From the first time I stepped on the lacrosse field, I wanted to play for Team USA. I was 9 during the 1980 Olympic Hockey team’s epic Gold medal run in Lake Placid. I was just starting to play lacrosse and that drove me to want to wear the red, white, and blue. My first Team USA tryout was about 6 weeks after my last game at UMass, the summer of 1993. There were 120 players at Rutgers University trying out for the team that would compete the following summer in the World Games in Manchester, England. One of the highlights of my career was receiving the letter from Tony Seaman, the head coach, saying I was selected. I was one of the youngest guys on the team of 23. We played a great tournament and went on to win the World Championship. I was so lucky to have a great series of games, and was honored by being named MVP of the Games.
My second time on Team USA, in 1998 was also a huge thrill. This time the games were in the US, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The pressure was on as we knew we had to maintain the title on our own soil. We didn’t want to be the second USA team ever to lose at the World Games and so everyone felt an incredible amount of pressure. The final game was one to go down in the record books as an epic. We were leading Team Canada (Gaits, Marechek, Tavares, etc) by 8 in the third quarter and ended up winning in overtime. That final game was the single most exciting game I have ever played. When I look back, I am shocked with the calmness I felt inside during some of the most intense moments.
I was drafted in the first round of the 1994 draft by the New York Saints and went on the play for 9 years in the NLL. I bounced around a little in my early years playing several years for the Saints and a few with the Baltimore Thunder. It took me a few years to learn the game of box lacrosse as I had really never played box lacrosse before. I worked really hard at it and, after a while, I started to understand what it took to be successful. I was an All-Pro four times earning First Team All-Pro twice. My best years in the NLL were in Philadelphia. I played for the Wings for the better part of 3 seasons. The highlight by far was the 2001 NLL Championship in Toronto. We were huge underdogs playing the finals in the Air Canada center. If there was a betting line they would have been favored by 10 and we pulled off the impossible, a 9-7 victory.
I graduated from UMass in 1994. The MLL did not have its inaugural season until 2001. I played my entire field lacrosse during those 6 years in what really was the pro league with bad uniforms (ha ha). It was known as Club Lacrosse or, more formally, the United States Club Lacrosse Association (USCLA). It was totally legit and the competition was as fierce as any MLL game, it just wasn’t formalized yet. I won two championships, one with the Mt. Washington Club and one with Long Island Lacrosse Club. Just to give you an idea, in the first Championship Game, one of the best defenseman ever, Dave Pietramala, covered me. In the second, a few of my teammates were Hall of Famers, Gary Gait, Tom Marechek, and Todd Curry. During my 5 year MLL career, I played four with the Bayhawks and one with the Boston Cannons. I played in 3 championship games and was fortunate to win the MLL Championship in 2003. I have many incredible memories and was honored to compete against the top lacrosse athletes ever to play.
Mark Millon is regarded as one of the top players to play the game, As a player, he was recognized as a commanding offensive threat who possessed the whole package. Mark’s speed, quickness, vision, great stick skills, tremendous shot, and accuracy both left- and right-handed made him deadly around the crease. His explosiveness and left-handed shot make him tough to defend – a big game player.