BSB: How did you start playing lacrosse?
Planning: “I actually started out playing baseball. My dad and grandpa both played baseball, so that’s what I did growing up. I wasn’t the best baseball player, so sitting in left field wasn’t exactly the most exciting thing for me to do any more. My dad made me switch over to lacrosse – I didn’t want to, but he made me. I just dropped baseball and started playing lacrosse. It’s a game of speed, game of passion and every teammate matters. It’s the greatest game known to man.”
BSB: When did that switch take place?
Planning: “It was around sixth or seventh grade. I played baseball well into my years, so it was around middle school.”
BSB: For people who aren’t from the Maryland/D.C. area, how would you describe the popularity of lacrosse there?
Planning: “It’s huge. It’s huge. You get hundreds of people out to high school regular-season games, sometimes thousands. The rivalries are huge. I went to Gonzaga in D.C., so we’ve got Georgetown Prep, Landon, DeMatha, Good Counsel, St. Albans, all those great schools. You grow up playing against guys in middle school and then you get to high school and get the fans, the tradition and the history. It’s really a special thing, and it’s a lot of fun.”
BSB: How did you end up at Ohio State?
Planning: “I’ve been a Buckeye fan since day one of my life, pretty much. My dad went to college in Ohio and adopted the Buckeyes as his football team, so I grew a Buckeye fan and watched them win the championship in 2002, dancing around the house in my scarlet and gray. I’ve always wanted to go to Ohio State, but then once high school came around I realized I might have a shot at playing Division I lacrosse. I sent them a bunch of emails, and luckily it all worked out. It was super lucky.”
BSB: When did you realize that you could play at the Division I level?
Planning: “I love playing the game and worked really hard at it. I have a younger brother who’s actually playing at Denver (Ohio State's next NCAA Tournament opponent) right now, and we’d be in the back yard playing after school every day. It was something fun to do, and I love it. Some kids go to college on different types of scholarships, and I wanted to play lacrosse. The sport has given me such great opportunity in my life, and I’m truly blessed.”
BSB: What does it mean to be a Senior CLASS nominee?
Planning: “It’s awesome and a true blessing. It encompasses your whole college experience, really. On the field, your academics, your social side. To be recognized for all those things is pretty special. Obviously, you can’t do any of it without your teammates, coaching staff and support staff, so all the credit to them. It’s an honor.”
BSB: Your bio says you’ve interned on Capitol Hill. What did you take away from that experience?
Planning: “I love it. It was amazing. My first internship was with Congressman Bill Johnson and then my past internship was with Speaker Boehner in his political office. I met some of the greatest people, some of the smartest, funniest and most talented people I know in those internships. The pace of work and the issues that you’re working on really make it worthwhile. I’ve always had an interest in politics living in the city (Washington D.C.), and to be able to actually get into the meat of the operation, I enjoyed it even more. Hopefully I can make a career out of it.”