Men’s lacrosse’s Jonathan Donville ’21 was selected by the Panther City Lacrosse Club with the No. 1 overall pick of the National Lacrosse League Entry Draft on Saturday night, marking the second year in a row a Cornell player was drafted first overall.
Teammate Jeff Teat ’21 holds the same distinction, as he was chosen with the top pick by the New York Riptide in last year’s NLL Draft. The only schools to previously have two consecutive No. 1 overall picks are North Carolina (1992-1993) and Syracuse (2009-2010).
“Both Jeff and Jon were talented players that worked as hard as any that I’ve coached, and in the process, made every person around them better,” head coach Connor Buczek ’15 told Cornell Athletics. “It’s a great honor for our program to have two of our best players and teammates go first overall in the NLL Draft in consecutive years. We hope that Cornell will continue to be a destination for top Canadian talent due to our style of play and proximity to home.”
Panther City is an upstart club in the NLL that will begin its first year of play during the 2021-22 season, but Donville will not be there for the team’s inaugural season because he is using his final year of NCAA eligibility to play at the University of Maryland. While Donville has departed from East Hill, he is still appreciative of his time at Cornell.
“I’m going to play as hard as I can. That’s something I really learned how to do at Cornell University,” Donville said. “More than ever last year, I realized this opportunity to play lacrosse and to play at an elite institution is a privilege, not a right. Having it taken away from you [due to COVID-19], you realize how special it is.”
Before matriculating at Cornell, Donville was born in Ontario, where he attended St. Michael’s College School. While at St. Michael’s, Donville was a two-time team MVP who led his team to a pair of OFSAA Provincial Championships.
After spending a year at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, Donville immediately burst onto the scene at Cornell. Slotted in the second offensive midfield, Donville was a top-five scorer in assists, goals and points, making him the highest-scoring freshman on the team.
Donville improved further the next season, racking up 34 points over 15 games and earning an Honorable Mention All-Ivy. His junior season was cut short due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in the five games he played, Donville was a force, totaling 2.6 goals and 4 points per game. Both of these averages ranked seventh in the Ivy League, and Donville was named a second team All-American by Inside Lacrosse and Maverik Media.
“Jon is an incredible talent that has earned everything that he has gotten in this game through hard work and humility,” Buczek said. “I’m so proud of him and know this is just the first of many accomplishments and accolades that he will receive in his professional career.”