Jun 21, 2012

2012 Cup.jpgBy Craig Rybczynski -- Alex “Kedoh” Hill said he felt like a rock star as he drove around his Reserve in southern Ontario. The Rochester Knighthawks’ forward, who shies away from attention, became the center if it while cruising on Fourth Line Road. On June 20th, the 21-year-old learned the magnetism of the NLL Champion’s Cup.

“As I was riding around, people would stop me and ask to check out the Cup,” said Hill.

He navigated the streets and back roads of Six Nations with the Cup securely buckled in the passenger seat. In his green GMC Envoy, Hill plotted out a plan to take the Cup to his family and friends. His first stop was his parent’s house, where his mom, dad and girlfriend, Carole General, proudly posed for pictures with their newly crowned champion. Then it was on to IL Thomas Elementary School where “Kedoh” attended first through eighth grade. Everywhere he went, he was met with smiles and congratulations. Some of the grade schools even tried to hoist the Cup with little success.

“I drove around all day. People were mostly surprised when I came around the corner with a big Cup,” said Hill. “They said it was the closest they would ever get to see the Cup.”

Hill carried around the Cup that the Knighthawks captured on May 19th against the Edmonton Rush. Fortunately for Hill, the former third-round pick, was acquired from the Rush in the offseason trade with Rochester. Both he and defenseman Ryan Cousins were instrumental in the team’s playoff push in April. For Hill, winning a title in his second professional season added to the excitement.

“It was an unbelievable experience being in that atmosphere," said Hill about the Championship Game at The Blue Cross Arena. "I am very thankful I was a part of a championship team."

Hill shared the Cup with his parents, Leroy and Arlene, and the rest of his family. More importantly, the former Six Nations Arrows’ star celebrated the victory with teammate Johnny Powless. The two not only played together with the Arrows, but carpooled to Knighthawks games and were roommates on the road.
“That was another amazing thing. I got to play with Johnny with the Arrows and we have been good friends,” said Hill. "We became pretty good buddies with the Knighthawks because we hung out all the time.”

While Powless was earning All-Rookie Team honors and hitting the 50-point plateau, Hill was also showcasing his talents in 2012. In games against three of the best teams in the NLL in Colorado, Calgary and Buffalo, he recorded eight points to tie his career highs in goals (5), assists (6) and points (11). Soon he will start thinking about 2013 and what lies ahead in his third pro season. But on two hot days in June, all Hill could think about was the three-foot wooden and silver trophy that sat shotgun with him.

Fittingly for the low-key Hill, his first day with the Cup ended on the banks of the Grand River. Sitting in the middle of Alex and his cousin Zach Hill, the Champion’s Cup watched the two kids catch smallmouth bass.

What a perfect ending to a memorable day.

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