The San Jose Stealth and 2008 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft second pick, Paul Rabil have come to terms that will bring the former John Hopkins star to San Jose. Stealth President and General Manager, Johnny Mouradian made the announcement in a media teleconference earlier today.
“When the NLL and San Jose Stealth are able to have someone with Paul’s talent and character join us, it is a great day for the league,” said Mouradian. “As we continue to grow our sport, especially in the Bay Area, Paul will play a major role in that.”
Rabil understands the important role he will be playing not only on the floor for the Stealth, but in the lacrosse community as well. “I’m a big advocate of the game,” said Rabil during the teleconference. “I want to popularize the sport and give back to the youth. To me, that’s as important as playing lacrosse.”
While Rabil will certainly have an impact on the development of the game, the San Jose Stealth and their fans are just as excited to have the 6’3”, 225-pound Rabil joining forces with All-Stars Colin Doyle, Jeff Zywicki and Eric Martin, along with the rest of the Stealth roster. “Paul is a very dynamic player and will help us all over the floor,” said Jeff Dowling, first-year Head Coach of the Stealth. “We are excited to get him into camp and integrate him into our plans. He is a little behind his teammates as far as getting used to our system, but I know he’s going to put in the extra work to get where he needs to be.”
Rabil’s playing accolades are no secret in the world of lacrosse. At Johns Hopkins, Rabil earned All-American recognition all four years, including First Team All-American three times. He was a two-time finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy, the most prestigious award in collegiate lacrosse. He leaves Hopkins as the career leader in goals (111) and points (178) as a midfielder and ranks among the University’s top 15 in goals, assists (67) and points. In 2008, he led the Blue Jays to the National Championship game, where he scored six goals. He led the team with a career-high 36 goals and 14 assists for 50 points in 2008.
The move to indoor lacrosse will be a challenge, but one Rabil is ready to face. “The physicality and speed of the indoor game will be an adjustment,” he said, “but I am constantly working on my stick skills and trying to work on my handle in tighter spaces. I have watched a lot of game film and a lot carries over to basketball: pick and roll, switching on defense, setting screens off the ball. I played a lot of basketball, so I hope that will help the transition.”
The signing comes on the day the league requires teams to cut their rosters to 23 men. The contract between the Stealth and Rabil has been sent to the NLL offices and is pending League approval.
The Stealth won a preseason game 12-11 in overtime against the Colorado Mammoth on December 20. Their regular season begins at home in the HP Pavilion on January 9, 2009 against the Calgary Roughnecks.