Scores / Schedule

Looking Back: Robert Hope Leads League in Blocked Shots via Selfless Play

DENVER – For our fans out there playing the game we love at ANY level, most understand soaking a good ole’ blocked shot never feels too great, despite the action itself playing a huge role during any given defensive shift.

Now, imagine said shot is coming from one of the National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) top-tier players during a game where you’ve already been giving your all.

Then, endure that same stinging feeling another 27 times as the season goes on, with the interaction occurring two, three, sometimes even four times within the same matchup and you’ll suddenly have a little bit more respect for the man who led the lead in blocked shots this season.

Fearless, while regularly serving as an extension of Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward’s high-arc netminding approach, Colorado’s captain turned in another quality campaign as the team’s defensive anchor.

Leading the squad with 133 loose balls (the third-most in his career), 24 caused turnovers (tying the fifth-most of his career) and a whopping 28 blocked shots (the most since the statistic was officially tracked by the league in 2022), “Hopey” was featured in the middle of a set during what felt like every single time we looked at the turf.

And YES, that includes transition during the 2023-24 campaign, as the Pfeiffer University product tied his career-best point total of 13 (0g, 13a). The total itself came one point short of breaking his previous best from the 2017-18 campaign (1g, 12a). However, the nine-year veteran was able to set a new NLL-best helper total, as he racked up 13 assists throughout his productive season.

Sure, he might look a bit older with his patented, long-stepping stride. But just ask Brett Craig, Jordan Gilles, Tyler Garrison and company: The team’s back-end general wasn’t afraid to push the pace in transition this year!

RELATED: Looking Back: Brett Craig Ramps Up Transition Play in Year Three

For all that his on-field accomplishments represented this season, it’s his ability to lead the rest of the men in that locker room which continues to stick out the most. Serving almost as a fourth coach, and the LOUDEST voice at practice and shootaround training sessions, he’s the driving force behind the team’s dedication. Regularly reminding his guys that each day is another opportunity to improve, recover and learn something new about the game or one’s approach, he’ll undoubtedly transition into a coaching role when his playing days are over.

Thankfully for Mammoth fans, he’s set to return to the LOUD HOUSE for the 2024-25 campaign after the organization signed him to a two-year deal last summer.

Ranking among the organization’s all-time leaders in games played (153 – Fourth), loose balls (1,140 – First) and caused turnovers (201 – Second), he’s not only the face of the franchise.

He’s the team’s heart, ever-vital to each and every other player on the squad.

And he’ll likely be the first player at Training Camp come November, excited to lead the charge as the team prepares for another electric season at the LOUD HOUSE!

Colorado Mammoth Pro Lacrosse Team