Joe Walters made his first appearance for Team USA in 2006, fresh off his graduation from the University of Maryland. A star with the Rochester Knighthawks in the National Lacrosse League, he helped Team USA to a bronze medal finish at the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship. Most recently, Walters played with Team USA during the Grand Opening celebration of the new US Lacrosse headquarters. He talks about his box skills, his desire to represent his country again, and an important social cause.

1. How have you improved your box game?
It’s a brand of lacrosse that did not come easy to me. I struggled my first three seasons in the NLL and it took a few summers playing “Senior A” for Brampton to gain the experience to start becoming a better box player. Learning the two-man game, physicality, passing and shooting were all challenges. I thought about quitting, but made the decision to stick with it.

2. You have returned to Team USA after playing for the 2006 senior and 2015 indoor teams. What motivated you during that span?
Three years ago, I made a commitment to change my diet and focus daily on strength and conditioning. This has kept my body in a position to play at an elite level. Losing in 2006 and watching our team lose in 2014 has been very motivating. I will be working hard and tirelessly for the opportunity to represent our nation in 2018.

3. Why do you remain involved with an anti-bullying campaign?
Being of a mixed race, I was called racial slurs growing up. I see it among kids daily. We have heard and read about the horror stories stemming from bullying. I enjoy sharing my experiences and helping those that are facing this issue. My main message is to be vocal — if you are being bullied and maybe more importantly, if you see someone else being bullied, do something about it and tell someone right away. That’s the tough part. We see someone being bullied and we don’t do anything to help.

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