Hall of Fame Inductee: Casey Powell
By Chris Rosenthall & Kyle Devitte | Feb 15, 2022
People like to separate players in other sports into eras. Lacrosse does that to a certain extent, but not as derisively or dismissively. But one day they will. A new generation of lacrosse fanboys and fan ladies will look back upon the games played by those in Casey Powell’s era and they will scoff. They will claim that he wasn’t as athletic as some D1 All-American with 200 points. Or that he was just an above-average passer. You know, something absolutely idiotic like that.
People like us will always be there to savage that sort of ignorance when it comes to the achievements of any Powell, but especially Casey.
The only man with a 60-point season in two different decades, Casey Powell was named the MLL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2005 and 2014, and before you simply gloss over this sentence, stop and think about those two years again - do you realize how much the world changed between 2005 and 2014? Say you were in sixth grade when he was first named Offensive Player of the Year, and you wanted to tell all your friends the big news. You’d probably head to your computer and type up the story on your MySpace page, right after changing your profile music to your new favorite song, “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas. The next time he won the award, you could have almost finished getting a Bachelor’s degree, and you’d post the news to Twitter and Facebook using an iPhone 6 (you could certainly still listen to “My Humps,” if you so desired, but this time you’d probably do it on Spotify or something). For all the changes we’ve seen in the world, Casey Powell’s scoring has continually remained one of its most consistent elements.
The thing about being in this Hall of Fame is that it is an inscrutable group. Greatness is not defined by statistics or accolades. It is created whole cloth out of desire. Casey Powell was the first of his kind. A transcendent player that broke down the tropes of flashy modern lacrosse solely existing for wealthy people from Long Island or Maryland. He didn't make upstate lacrosse – no one person ever could – but he carved the path that has been trodden on by thousands of players from that region in the last 30 years.
From his debut with the Long Island Lizards, to his curtain call with the Florida Launch, Powell was, above all others, the very definition of offensive versatility. If an opposing defense showed even the slightest hint of a weakness, rest assured he would find it, pounce on it like a leopard and repeatedly expose it for all the world to see. One on one? He’d beat you to the goal. Send a double team? He’d simply find the open man for an easy finish. Powell was “pick your poison” personified, and from 2001-2014, only two players recorded 30 goals and 30 assists in the same season: Ryan Powell once, big brother Casey twice.
The oldest brother always has the hardest path - which makes Casey’s ascendance even more laudable.
When Long Island captured Major League Lacrosse’s first championship, Powell finished the day with two goals and two assists, the only Lizard to record multiple points in both categories. And while we’re aptly speaking of 2-2, Casey, who currently ranks fourth all-time with 523 points, joins Ryan Powell and Rob Pannell (the lone non-Powell in the 30-30 club) as the only players in history to average at least two goals and two assists per game.
Just like all those defenders left in the dust, hopelessly flailing at the space he was occupying a split second prior, even the game’s greatest scorers ultimately found it impossible to keep up with Casey Powell’s ridiculously balanced productivity. The man was a uniquely dangerous offensive talent, breaker of molds and ankles alike. Calling him a hero isn’t even accurate. He’s a totem. He’s lacrosse’s first true superstar and he rose to that platform in the age before social media and then he did it again afterward. There is great, and then there is greatest.
Casey Powell is the greatest all-around attackman of his generation. The sport's first superstar. A great ambassador and well-deserving of being the first player inducted into the Pro Lacrosse Hall of Fame.