CALGARY, AB — Throughout professional sports history, there have been many examples of brother-teammate combinations. From Hank Aaron and his brother Tommie, to Tony and Phil Esposito, and into the modern era with the Sedin twins.
The National Lacrosse League is no different.
As a matter of fact, there have been many brother tandems through the years; Scott and Shawn Evans, Curt and Derek Malawsky, Patrick and Brodie Merrill, Paul and Dan Dawson, Ilija and Alex Gajic, and Taylor and Devan Wray among others.
The Calgary Roughnecks currently have a pair of brothers on their team – the Harnett’s (Jon and Greg) and the Carnegie’s (Mike and Scott).
It’s been eight years for the Carnegie’s sharing the floor on the Roughnecks’ roster.
Every moment has been special for the pair.
“It’s been great,” said Mike Carnegie. “There’s only a couple brother tandems in the league that get to say that they could play together for this long. We’ve been fortunate and blessed to play the sport we love in the same city and live here and work here and raise families here. It goes beyond the game. It’s been pretty cool.”
Mike turned 31 last March and is the older of the two siblings. Scott, will celebrate his 30th birthday in less than two weeks.
“It’s awesome every year that I get to play with him,” said Scott, who has played one less year in Calgary than Mike due to an injury in the 2014 season. “You appreciate it more and more every year. It’s not going to last forever, so we’re looking forward to this year. You can’t really describe it.”
The Carnegie’s came to Calgary ahead of the 2008 NLL season without knowing what it would turn into.
They certainly didn’t believe that they’d be teammates to this day.
“He was in Buffalo and I didn’t get a try-out anywhere so it was just amazing that we both ended up here,” Scott recalled. “The fact it lasted this long is incredible. I never would have thought.”
The Harnett’s journey to the Roughnecks also began out east.
Jon Harnett was drafted 26th overall by the Boston Blazers in 2008. He spent the 2009 and 2010 season there before being traded to the Roughnecks alongside Daryl Veltman, Kyle Ross, and a 3rd overall pick for Josh Sanderson.
This presented an opportunity for Greg Harnett to join his brother in the 2011 NLL Draft.
“When he went to Calgary, the draft was coming around and the 11th pick was coming. They had it and I was hoping to hear my name called,” Greg Harnett said.
The Roughnecks did take Greg with the 11th pick in the Draft, something they have not regretted.
“I knew he would get drafted in the league and play right away,” said Jon of his younger brother. “But I didn’t know if he would come to Calgary or not. We got very lucky that the Calgary front office drafted him and I feel like he’s done everything he can to reward them for that.”
For the past four seasons, the Harnett brothers have played side-by-side and are enjoying every minute of it.
It’s not just in Calgary the Harnett’s get to be brothers and teammates. They also both suit up for the Victoria Shamrocks of the WLA in the summer.
The Harnett brothers are soaking in every moment.
“It’s really special to play full year round with him,” admitted Jon Harnett. “It’s easy on the parents for watching games. He’s a great player and I’m a better player playing with him. We feed off of each other defensively and we have a good thing going.”
“It’s a great thing. I don’t take it for granted,” opined Greg Harnett. “I really love playing with him. I’ve played against him and it’s awful. To play with him is a great thing, especially for my family.”
As with any brothers, there is always some healthy competition.
But when it comes to the Harnett’s and Carnegie’s, that competition remains solely off of the floor.
“Not on the floor, but maybe in other areas of life,” Greg Harnett said. “Maybe golf, video games, anything where we can compete.”
“Not really. Who’s going to host dinner is like the biggest competition we have,” joked Mike Carnegie.