Bowen gets home Rush

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:43 PM ET

Three years ago, Jamey Bowen took the initial steps to bring professional lacrosse to Edmonton. Yesterday, he officially joined the Edmonton Rush as a player.

When the National Lacrosse League originally looked at coming to Bowen's hometown, he was one of the primary figures in the equation - a longtime player who had actively recruited big-dollar investors to bankroll the endeavour. Now he's just one of the guys in the locker-room.

"This is the easier part," said Bowen, who joined the Rush stable alongside Jordan Cornfield yesterday.

"I knew Edmonton was the perfect fit for pro lacrosse and I knew financially it would work out. Everybody that I talked to, the money was there. It was never a problem of not believing in it. There were just other stumbling blocks. But for the owners now this is going to be a real positive."

Bowen was a power-play specialist in his single season with the Vancouver Ravens. Despite being 35, he still plans on bringing his skills to the Rush and not be a token local signing because of his longevity in the local lacrosse community.

"A lot of guys looked up to me and if I can make them and the team better then I'm worth my words," laughed Bowen, who teaches at St. Francis Xavier high school.

With a wife and family, the ability to play at home comes as a great relief.

"The chance to play here and with practices only a 20-minute drive instead of a four-hour ordeal when I had to fly to Vancouver, the words can't even explain just getting this chance," said Bowen.

Cornfield, 23, also brings a scoring touch to the Rush coming off a 59-point summer campaign with Burnaby's senior 'A' club.

"To get home after not playing here for five years and to play in front of my family and friends is going to be a tremendous experience," said Cornfield.

A significant local flavour adds to the Rush's goal of getting their inaugural season off to a bang. But talent weighs more than the importance of hometown recognition.

"It's a good identity but I'm sure the Eskimos and Oilers don't go out looking at players just because they're from Edmonton," said head coach/GM Paul Day.

"We're going to put the best-quality players on the floor as we can. We're just lucky enough to get guys like Jimmy Quinlan and Kevin Howard - guys that have had some success in the league and are not yet 25 years old.

"We're real fortunate in Jordan's case and Jamey has always put up numbers wherever he's gone."

On the subject of identity, the Rush unveiled their logo at Rexall Place - a black and silver colour scheme of the team name done in letters resembling the West Coast Choppers design.

"It illustrates our aggressive mandate for success and the speed, grit and intensity of the game," said Rush president Duane Vienneau.

QUICK STICKS: The Rush will announce their ticket campaign and remainder of their coaching staff Monday prior to the NLL draft ... Edmonton is likely to trade its second-round pick (14th overall) as part of a pre-arranged deal coming out of the expansion draft. The Rush's top choices then will be their three third-round picks.


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