They say brothers share everything. And on Thursday night, that sentiment became a reality for UAlbany attack men and two-thirds of the "Thompson Trio," Lyle and Miles Thompson, who were honored with the Tewaaraton Award.
The brothers, who were award finalists, learned that they won the award after the presenter said that there were “winners.”
"When I heard them let it slip, it brought tears to my eyes," Lyle Thompson told Syracuse.com. "I really didn't see it coming. I thought it was going to be one or the other. I just can't explain my happiness and how proud I am."
“It is the best feeling to share the award with my brother and be the first Native Americans to win it,” Miles Thompson told the Baltimore Sun via Albany’s sports information office. “No words can express this feeling.”
Lyle and Miles were the first Native Americans to win the award in its 14 year history. And it was also the first year that the award was shared by two players.
According to Syracuse.com, “the Tewaaraton foundation said that its 10-coach selection committee tasked with determining the award was unanimous in its decision to award both Lyle and Miles with the honor.”
The ceremony was held at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and the award was announced after the program began at 8:15p.m.
Lyle is the only player in NCAA Division I history with two 100-point seasons, eclipsing Steve Marohl’s record (Marohl scored 114 points in one season in 1992) with 128 points, 51 goals and 77 assists; he also tied Marohl in number of assists. Last year, he finished with 113 points (50 goals, 63 assists). Lyle has also won the Lt. Raymond J. Enners Award (outstanding player) and the Lt. Col. J.I. (Jack) Turnbull Award (outstanding attackman).
Miles, who is in his senior year, also broke Marohl’s record with 119 points. He ended the season with 82 goals to match the all-time Division I record for goals in a season. That record was set by Jon Reese in 1990. He also added 37 assists, second all-time for a season to his brother, the AP said.
But not only are their records impressive, UAlbany coach Steve Marr remarked that it’s their playing style and how they bring creativity to the Creator’s game, a game their ancestors started many years ago.
"I think they've helped re-energize the game and showed people how much fun it could be to play the game," Marr said. "It wasn't about trick shots. It was about helping the team win."
This was Miles’ first time as a finalist, and his first win. Lyle was a finalist in last years’ award ceremony, but lost by one point to UMBC’s Steve Marohl.
"It's just an honor, not only for me and for him, but a huge honor for my family, for our Native American people, our coaches, university and our team," Lyle told the capacity crowd at the National Museum of the American Indian.