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Get To Know the Stealth: Paul Rabil

12/14/2009, 1:26pm PST
By Washington Stealth

Twenty-four years ago today, Paul Rabil was born.  No one knew it at the time, but he would grow into one of the most recognizable names in lacrosse, dominating the sport at every level.  But despite the championships, MVP awards and endorsement deals, he is nowhere near being satisfied.  And as far as he’s concerned, the world has yet to see the best of Paul Rabil.

Those of us familiar with lacrosse know all about Paul Rabil’s resume. At Johns Hopkins University he won two National Titles, four All-American selections, Midfielder of the Year, three-time Tewaaraton Trophy Finalist: the list goes on and on. 

He made the leap to the pro ranks and has been equally as impressive.  He was the first overall pick by the Boston Cannons in the 2008 Major League Lacrosse Draft and has since been named a two-time All-Star, the League’s Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player.  He will also represent the United States as a member of the 2010 Team USA squad that will look to regain the World title at the FIL World Championships in Manchester, England next July.

Rabil is now in the process of making his mark in the indoor game.  He was the second overall selection in the 2008 National Lacrosse League draft and in his first season playing indoor lacrosse EVER, he earned All-Rookie honors after posting 34 points in 16 games.

But while all those personal accolades might make some complacent, not Mr. Rabil.  “Individual honors are great, but without that championship it doesn’t mean as much,” he says.  “I’d trade them for a championship any day of the week.”

It’s that mentality that is continuing to drive Rabil.  Last summer, he ended his tenure working in Commercial Real Estate to focus on lacrosse full time.  He now works out with a trainer four times a week to work on his explosiveness on the field. Rabil says he gets the most out of working out with Jay Dyer, who trains the Men’s Lacrosse team at Johns Hopkins.  “My style of lacrosse incorporates as much athleticism as possible.  I put in a lot of work to constantly try and get better.  The experience helps, but it’s hard work that makes it come together.”

Rabil’s devotion to lacrosse isn’t just spending extra time in the gym.  He spends the majority of his time traveling around the country running youth lacrosse camps.  He’s recently spent time in Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts as well as running a series of clinics over the summer at the Stealth’s new home in Washington. 

Rabil is also a Spokesman for the National Cued Speech Association.  He was born with a hearing defect that got worse as he grew older.  Now he is nearly 80% deaf in his left ear.  “It affects me every now and then.  But I was born with it and never knew anything different, so I’ve never really known what effect it has had.”  The fame he’s gained as a lacrosse superstar has given Rabil the opportunity to help kids that are in a similar situation.  He helps with the Cued Speech Lacrosse Team with clinics and camps as well.

But now with the 2010 Stealth season approaching, Rabil has his goals set on winning his first professional lacrosse championship.  “I have yet to win a pro championship and I want that more than anything.”  After the first weekend of Stealth training camp, you can see his focus on the floor.  Last year he was a rookie, seeking out advice from the older guys.  This year, he’s the one offering tips to the new guys experiencing the indoor game for the first time.

He’s brought lacrosse to the advertising realm as well; you can see him in national television commercials for Under Armour, one of Rabil’s sponsors.  And if you check out Youtube, you can see him showing his sense of humor in some Great Atlantic/Lacrosse.com ads. 

You will see Paul Rabil (and his flow) live and in person this season at the Comcast Arena, but in the meantime, here are a few questions to help you get to know Paul Rabil.

Q&A
1. What made you want to start playing lacrosse?
PR: The contact and skill involved is unlike any other sport.

2. What other sports did you play growing up?
PR: Basketball, soccer and swimming.

3. What are your hobbies outside of lacrosse?
PR: I own a Snap Fitness 24 hour gym in Baltimore, MD. I also play a lot of golf when the day is free, and my PS3 game is pretty legit.

4. What are your favorite sports teams besides the Stealth?
PR: Washington Redskins and Chelsea Football Club.

5. What is your greatest lacrosse memory?
PR: Winning the National Championship in 2007. By far, the biggest rush of pride and joy I've ever had.

6. Do you have any pregame superstitions?
PR: I say a prayer for good health before every game during the Anthems.

7. You are stranded on a deserted island.  What three items do you bring with you and why?
PR: 1. TV - you need to be able to entertain yourself with The Office on Thursday nights at 9pm.

2. Grill - To survive, you need to cook. AND, you said "item" that I could bring (that doesn't count all of the "unlimited supplies of food BS"...

3. Soccer Ball - I would practice juggling a lot. There's nothing to throw a lacrosse ball off of on a deserted island. Plus, what happens when you (inevitably) loose the lax ball?

8. What actor will play Paul Rabil in the movie about your life and why?
PR: Michael Doneger. He was my roommate for 4 years, an aspiring writer/director in Hollywood (with great acting skills as well). Who better to play you than someone who knows most of your tendencies?

9. What is playing on your iPod right now?
PR: Frank Sinatra and Rat Pack tunes.

10. What goals do you have for the rest of your playing career?
PR: Win.

 

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