NORFOLK, Mass. — Paul Rabil is widely considered the best American lacrosse player in the world — but you'd hardly know it from his down-to-earth personality.
The Boston Cannons' superstar put on a two-hour lacrosse clinic for youngsters at Fore Kicks in Norfolk on Sunday afternoon, showing off his skills but also passing on a few tips.
Rabil, 24, was selected first overall by the Cannons in the 2008 Major League Lacrosse draft after four sensational seasons at Johns Hopkins University, where he was a three-time USILA First Team All-American and was named the 2007 McLaughlin Award winner as the nation's most outstanding midfielder.
With the Cannons, he's continued his domination, winning the 2009 MLL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards.
We got a chance to chat with Rabil about his path to lacrosse super-stardom, his hobbies and where he likes to chow down when he's not owning the field.
How did your lacrosse career get started?
My lacrosse career got started basically when I stopped playing full-time soccer year round. I was 12 or 13, and I picked up a stick because my friends in the neighborhood were doing it too.
What was your favorite moment from your college playing days?
I have two: winning two national championships my freshman and junior years.
Who was your biggest influence growing up?
My biggest influence growing up, and still my biggest influence today, is my dad, Alan. He's always grounded me and continues to ground me today, helping me try to stay as humble as possible while I'm working as hard as I can to fulfill my own personal goals.
What is your favorite sport to play besides lacrosse?
I love playing soccer. I just love watching it; it's the sport I grew up playing and it's a sport that's easy to play, too. You can play pickup soccer wherever, and there's leagues all across the country, so I try to keep my skills up to par.
What's the last movie you saw? Can you give us a review?
Actually, last night I watched The Family Stone. I was in the hotel, so I was subject to what I had — but it was pretty good. Sarah Jessica Parker played a phenomenal role, and I would recommend watching it — if you're stuck watching it, and there's not much college football going on.
Do you have any pregame superstitions? How about a particular pregame meal?
I wouldn't consider them superstitions; they're just things that I do to get prepared. I listen to certain music before the game; I'm not very talkative; I like to mentally prepare myself. As far as a pregame meal goes, I usually like to have a chicken parmigiana — get some pasta in me.
Where is your favorite place to go out to eat in Boston?
My favorite place to go out to eat, anywhere, is Chipotle. It's a boring answer, but I'm a huge Chipotle fan at heart.
That said, what is your Chipotle order?
I get a burrito with a little bit of rice. You know, you don't want to overtake the burrito with a lot of rice. I then go for the black beans, I put a little bit of fajita veggies on there, then I get half chicken and half steak — it's killer. And I top it off with corn, hot sauce, sour cream, cheese and lettuce.