Maryland men’s lacrosse junior midfielder Bubba Fairman recently talked to PressBox about why he came to Maryland, the teammate he’s played with for years and more. Fairman, a native of Sandy, Utah, had 42 points and was an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2019.

PressBox: How did you become interested in lacrosse?

Bubba Fairman: I grew up in Utah and lacrosse isn’t too big there. My dad grew up in Boston, so he kind of got [my brothers and me] into it. We used to be big baseball players. My dad made us try it one year and we just kind fell in love with it. My brothers and I, we’re all super energetic. We fell in love with how fast the game was and just kind of the small community around it.

PB: Why did you choose to come to Maryland?

BF: I chose to come to Maryland just because I liked their value system here. When I came on my visit, the guys were unbelievable to me. I kind of liked just the brotherhood that they had, how close they are, just kind of how they acted on the field and off the field.

PB: What is your favorite memory at Maryland so far?

BF: By far my favorite memory was walking out to the stadium before my first game against Navy, putting on that jersey, just hearing the crowd roar and being able to run out there with all my best friends.

PB: What are some of your long-term goals for after lacrosse?

BF: Definitely graduate college, obviously. I want to make honors every single semester, which knock on wood I’ve done so far, and then maybe attend graduate school. But just stay involved with lacrosse and try to give back to the program as much as I can. [I’m studying] criminal justice. Long-term goal, maybe go to law school.

PB: What’s your favorite thing about College Park?

BF: I love the college-town feel it has. Even though it’s a rather big town, it feels like a small community. I love how involved everybody is within the school and all the athletics here.

PB: Who’s your best friend on the team and what’s a story that underscores the friendship you two have on and off the field?

BF: I’ve got a couple of runner-ups, but I would say Anthony DeMaio. I’ve been playing lacrosse with him since the sixth grade. We’re both from the West Coast, so we were back East for a tournament and it was right [by] to Maryland. We were just talking about how cool it’d be to come here. We’re finally walking out to our first game and we’re talking [about] how crazy it was that it actually worked out and we could play together at Maryland. It was both our dream schools.

PB: How did you get to know DeMaio?

BF: He’s from California. I’m from Utah. We played on the same club team. I grew up playing with him and his younger brother who actually just came here this year. When I was younger, there was mainly one club team that kind of was the most dominant team on the West Coast. It’s known as the West Coast Stars. Basically, they would gather guys from the West Coast area and then bring it back East and play in tournaments. The teams were very talented, but it was mainly kind of just to get the West Coast kids some exposure to what East Coast lacrosse was like and see if we want to come out here to school. It did its job. It’s an awesome program. That’s how Anthony and I got connected.

PB: Who were some of the lacrosse players at Maryland you looked up to early in your career?

BF: Definitely Connor Kelly, Tim Rotanz. Those were like the two biggest role models for me. Jared Bernhardt’s another guy that I just try to follow in his footsteps just because he’s always doing the right thing. But then a guy like Russell Masci, who’s a senior captain this year, is always setting a good example of how to work hard, so I definitely look up to those guys.

PB: Who was the biggest influence on your game growing up?

BF: My dad, [Jay], and my two brothers. My dad kind of raised us on his own for seven years, so everything he did — he just kind of sacrificed for us, and just seeing that sacrifice made us want to be successful in whatever field of sport we did. For me and my two brothers, it was lacrosse. Going off that, my two brothers definitely pushed me and made me, too, the person I am today. Those three are the most influential people.

PB: What advice would you give to younger players?

BF: Keep having fun with the sport. Don’t ever take anything too serious. Work hard, but the main thing is have fun. Just don’t get burnt out. Give yourself some time away from lacrosse, but when you’re on the field, give everything you’ve got.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Issue 261: February/March 2020

Luke Jackson

See all posts by Luke Jackson. Follow Luke Jackson on Twitter at @luke_jackson10