SJU grad Anthony Joaquim ready for Wings to take flight

Matt Leon
December 13, 2018 - 1:09 pm
Anthony Joaquim

Philadelphia Wings

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The expansion Philadelphia Wings will make their National Lacrosse League debut on Saturday afternoon when they welcome Buffalo to the Wells Fargo Center.

Of course, this is also a return for Wings lacrosse, as Philadelphia had a very successful run in the NLL until the old Wings moved to New England and became the Black Wolves.

Speaking of returns, one of the current Wings is returning to Philadelphia for this season.

Anthony Joaquim is a native of Ontario, Canada, but he played his college lacrosse at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, finishing tied for second in Hawk history in career games played (62). 
His final season at St. Joe's was in 2017. His first season in the NLL came with the New England Black Wolves, and he said word that Philadelphia was once again getting a team really piqued his interest.

"I definitely was interested and excited to hear about that," he said. "In the summer league that I play in back home, a bunch of guys were kind of coming up to me, because there was this protected list and unprotected list and I wasn't protected, and I started hearing rumblings like, 'Philly's going to pick you up for sure' — there's no doubt in their mind — 'of course they're going to pick you up.' 

"Once I started hearing more of that from other players in the league, I was like, all right, this might be happening. Couple of months later, (expansion) draft does happen, hear my name get called, got a call right away from (head coach) Paul Day, and just kind of excited to be back."

Joaquim said the team's strength comes from a chip-on-our-shoulder mentality.

"For us, the guys that got picked up in the expansion draft, it's kind of like, your old team didn't want you anymore, so you kind of have a point to prove to them when we play them. For the new guys coming in, it's all trying to prove themselves into the league, so it's a chip on that shoulder, showing that they belong. 

"Our team collectively is kind of going to have that mentality that we've got something to prove day in and day out, and we're going to be scrappy, we're going to be real gritty, something that Philly loves and embodies, the blue collar work mentality, and we're going to kind of put that into what we do on the floor and hopefully it translates into some wins."

Being a part of a franchise's first game means you always have a special place in franchise lore, and Joaquim is very aware of that.

"It's kind of exciting that we get to lay our own foundation for the new Wings team," he said. "We know what the past has been like, but we're not trying to follow in their footsteps per se. We're trying to make our own mark, which is going to be pretty cool and fun to be a part of."

Saturday's game with Buffalo gets underway at 1 p.m.

You can follow Matt Leon on Twitter @MattLeon1060.