Lyle Thompson’s year just keeps getting better.
Over the summer, Thompson helped the Iroquois Nationals secure their first-ever bronze medal in the FIL World Lacrosse Championships. In that tournament, he was the second leading scorer, with 16 goals and seven assists (his brother Miles Thompson was the leading scorer, with 16 goals and 15 assists). Also this summer, Lyle was nominated for a Best Male College Athlete ESPY award by ESPN, after coming off a historic NCAA season in which he bettered the previous record for points in a season, which was 114; Lyle finished with 128 (51 goals and 77 assists). And he shared the Tewaaraton Trophy with his brother Miles, becoming the first Natives to receive the prestigious recognition.
Now, Lacrosse Magazine has named Thompson their 2014 Person of the Year saying, “he embodied the spirit of the game while representing the Haudenosaunee.” According to the magazine, the award is given to the person who has had a tremendous influence on the sport and has transcended all levels of the game.
"Lyle Thompson fits the criteria not only because of his on-field exploits, setting the NCAA single-season scoring record at Albany, but also because of what he represents to the lacrosse and Native American communities," Matt DaSilva, editor-in-chief of Lacrosse Magazine, said in an interview with the publication. "He is a once-in-a-generation player with otherworldly lacrosse talent. This year especially, he embraced that spotlight and gave us cause to celebrate the sport's origins."
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"My father [Jerome Thompson Sr.] said, 'Don't worry about the number [on your jersey]. Don't worry about the name. You're playing for the Creator,'" Lyle Thompson told the magazine. "To do that you have to go out there and play with a positive attitude. That's what we did this year. That's kind of the person I am, just growing up — the person my father taught us to be."
Lyle, who is in his final season at the University of Albany, will be featured on the cover of Lacrosse Magazine next month.