Leo Roth , Sports columnist 11:18 p.m. EDT May 20, 2014


[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="534"] Fatherhood certainly appeals to Cody Jamieson, who led the National Lacrosse League in scoring for the first time in his professional career-best.(Photo: KRIS J. MURANTE Staff file photo)[/caption]

Story Highlights

  • Cody Jamieson was NLL first overall pick in 2010.
  • Former SU star led NLL with 108 points.

Cody Jamieson says he used to be a "pick-up-and-go'' kind of guy.

If there was a lacrosse game someplace to play, a movie to go see, some buddies to meet out, the Rochester Knighthawks superstar forward picked up and went. But nine months ago, he and his girlfriend, Michelle, became the proud parents of a son, Comyn.

Suddenly, life for Jamieson, 26, was no longer a 2-on-0 fast break. It was more like take the ball behind the net, set up a play and think first before reacting. Welcome to family life, kid. And Cody Jamieson couldn't be happier.

"It's a lot different than how I used to be,'' he said. "Before, I was pick-up-and-go whenever. Now I've got a family and I'm thinking family first. I can't wait to get home after a road trip and I love bringing him to the games.''

Comyn comes dressed in a toddler sized Jamieson jersey, of course.

And while he's not yet old enough to comprehend that daddy is already one of the best players on the planet to ever pick up a lacrosse stick or to appreciate daddy's giant-sized image on the atrium glass that greets fans to Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial, someday he will.

This much is certain: fatherhood certainly appeals to Cody Jamieson who led the National Lacrosse League in scoring for the first time in his four professional seasons with a career-best 108 points.

With another 13 points in the East Division championship series win over rival Buffalo, Jamieson's also on the verge of leading the Knighthawks to an unprecedented third consecutive NLL title. Rochester (15-5) plays Calgary (13-7) Saturday before the two-game, 10-minute-mini-game-if-necessary series shifts to Rochester Saturday, May 31. The K-Hawks are eyeing their fifth title overall in 20 years as a franchise.

At 5-9, 218, Jamieson isn't the biggest, strongest or fastest player to ever compete in a lacrosse box. But few have possessed his stick skills, passion and determination. The Iroquois, Six Nations, Ont., native calls these things a gift "from the Creator.'' When he clutches a stick, he honors all the players that came before him. He has said often that lacrosse isn't merely a game, "but a way of life.''

He's always played with an obvious joy. But now as a father, he plays with a real purpose.

"It just puts more meaning into why I'm here,'' Jamieson said. "If I'm going to leave my family at home or give up my time I could be spending with my son, I want to do something special with it and I want to leave a legacy my son can be proud of.''

That legacy is already secured and Jamieson's not yet reached 30. When it comes to winning championships at the youth, junior, collegiate and pro levels, he's run out of fingers for rings.

He was the NLL's championship game MVP the last two years; the only other player with back-to-back MVPs was Bandits' great John Tavares (1992 and '93), the NLL's all-time scorer.

At his current 83.75-points-per-season pace and if he plays all 10 seasons of his historic 10-year contract, Jamieson will challenge John Grant Jr.'s Knighthawks' career record of 894 points. From Paul Gait to Grant Jr., to Jamieson, the K-Hawks have truly been blessed when it comes to faces of the franchise. Like Ruth to DiMaggio to Pettite.

What's impressive about Jamieson is that he had to follow Grant Jr., who was traded after a decade in Rochester to Colorado for All-Pro goalie Matt Vinc. It was a difficult but necessary move by owner/general manager Curt Styres, who had committed to an aggressive rebuilding plan that history shows was incredibly well done.

Jamieson, who scored the game-winning goal in Syracuse University's 10-9 win over Cornell in the 2009 NCAA final and was the NLL's No. 1 overall pick in 2010, has calmly handled the pressure and lived up to the hype.

"I was OK with it,'' he said of replacing Grant. "I grew up idolizing him and he's still in my eyes one of the best players in the world. But I didn't feel I was a replacement or that I had a competition with him. I got to Rochester for a reason. I was picked first for a reason. I've just tried to play my game.''

It's a game that's equal parts Porsche and Mack truck. Against the Bandits last Saturday, he had one goal where he muscled backwards into a defender, curled and scored underhanded, a goal that made No. 7 on ESPN's Top 10 plays. But Jamieson is just as content to dish the ball off; he had twice the number of assists (72) as goals (36) this season.

His dad, Cole, who coached Cody until he was 14, had a simple piece of advice when teams began to put two defenders on him: at least one teammate has to be open so pass the ball to that guy. In typical humble fashion, Jamieson credited his NLL scoring title to the teammates he passed to.

"It's testament to all the great players we have on our offense. Anyone can score and that's what makes us so dangerous,'' he said.

Jamieson keeps his title rings in a safe, putting them on only for the memories they stir. Oh the stories he will tell his son.