(Photo Courtesy of Penn State Athletics)
*This article is part of a month-long series, Black Lacrosse Stories, that highlights Black players and coaches who have made an impact on our game, but maybe lesser known to many younger players today.*
Chris Dent’s legendary lacrosse career began at Lower Marion High School on Philadelphia, Pa. where he helped lead his team to a state title as a senior in 1984 while also racking up All-American honors.
Taking his talents to Happy Valley to play for Coach Glen Thiel and the Penn State Nittany Lions, Dent continued his high-level play at the college level. As a freshman, Dent and the Nittany Lions struggled as they went a measly 3-10. But that would be the only losing season during Dent’s four years with the Nittany Lions.
As a sophomore in 1986, Dent missed some time due to a hamstring injury but still put together a strong campaign. Helping Nittany Lions to a 7-6 record, Dent ended the season as the team’s fourth-leading point-getter with 32 points off 27 goals and five assists. His play earned him recognition as a USILA Honorable Mention All-American.
Dent and the Nittany Lions only built on that strong campaign in 1986 with an even better season a year later. Going. Penn State started the 1987 season on a four-game winning and ended the year with a 10-5 record. It marked the first time in program history that the Nittany Lions had recorded double-digit wins in a season.
On top of the team’s success, Dent continued to be one of the Nittany Lions top playmakers on an offense that averaged 15 goals per game. He put up 32 goals and seven assists for 39 points on the year. He was the second on the team in goals and fourth in points as a junior. Dent was named a Third-Team All-American following that successful season.
During his senior season in 1988, Dent served as a team captain and helped the Nittany Lions to an 8-6 season. Dent was second on the team in goals with 20 and added seven assists, totaling for 27 points. He was one of two Penn State players chosen for the USILA North-South Senior All-Star Game.
At the close of his career in Happy Valley, Dent has amassed a career total of 119 points. His 336 career ground balls still stands as fourth-best in Nittany Lions history.
Dent played two seasons of professional lacrosse with the Philadelphia Wings in the MILL where he was apart of two championship teams in 1989 and 1990.