Family and sports have coexisted for as long as time. Many people were introduced to sport by someone in their family: a dad teaching his son how to throw a ball in the front yard, a brother teaching his sibling how to hit a baseball, or a mom teaching her daughter how to swim. Sports have brought families closer together, whether it be cheering for a home team, learning a new sport, or even just watching the game at dinner time with the rest of the family.
There also seems to be a “famous” family attached to every major sport as well: the Manning’s in the NFL, the Curry’s of the NBA, the Gracie Family in the UFC, and the Griffey’s in the MLB. It is without argument that the Thompson family is who you think of when it comes to lacrosse.
The Thompson family consists of 4 brothers; Jeremy, Lyle, Miles, and Jerome (or Hiana). The Thompson brothers are from the Onondaga Nation, one of six nations in the Iroquois Nation. Coming from Indigenous roots is something that the family is very proud of, as they are at the heart and soul of the creation of lacrosse. The Haudenosaunee believe that the sport of lacrosse was invented by the Creator and was used for multiple purposes. Excelling in the sport of lacrosse is something that is very important to these brothers, as well as bringing awareness to their culture. They have played at the highest level at all levels, including with the Haudenosaunee Nationals.
Oftentimes growing up times were very tough for the Thompson brothers. Raised on the reservation, there were times they did not have running water or electricity. They believe that without the game of lacrosse, they may not have the platform to tell their story and raise awareness of the challenges facing these populations. The brothers looked at lacrosse as a medicine, as a way to better their lives. This beautiful game brought them closer to one another, as well as helping them become successful men. They want to be an inspiration for not only Native American youth, but all youth in general who are struggling and wanting to build a better life. They are some of the most recognizable players, especially with their traditional braids coming out of their helmets.
From four boys growing up on a reservation, to now being the most prominent family in all of lacrosse, it is safe to say that the Thompson family’s impact on lacrosse has been as monumental to this generation of lacrosse as the Gait’s were in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Meet The Thompsons
Jeremy Thompson: Jeremy is the oldest of the bunch, coming in at 35 years old. Unlike his brothers in Miles and Lyle, Jeremy attended Onondaga Community College for the beginning of his collegiate career, winning two NJCAA national championships, prior to transferring to Syracuse where he was a 2x All-American, as well as 2x All-Big East First team selection. Jeremy was the 9th overall pick in the 2011 National Lacrosse League draft, selected by the Buffalo Bandits.
Throughout his NLL career, Jeremy has played on the Bandits, Edmonton/Saskatchewan Rush, Panther City Lacrosse Club in their inaugural season and will begin his next chapter in Georgia with the Swarm. Throughout his 10 seasons in the NLL and as a primary defender and faceoff man, his stats have been nothing short of incredible: 165 games played, 56 goals, and 87 assists. Jeremy is closing in on 2,000 faceoff wins in his career, becoming just the fourth player all-time to reach that mark.
He is well respected around the league, as he earned the National Lacrosse League Teammate of the Year Award this past season while with the Panther City Lacrosse Club. Prior to this season starting, Jeremy was traded to the Georgia Swarm to be reunited with his brothers, Lyle and Miles. This will be the first time that these three will have played together while being in the National Lacrosse League.
Jerome “Hiana” Thompson: Jerome is the second oldest of the bunch, coming in at 34 years old. Like his brother Jeremy, Jerome also attended Onondaga Community College for his collegiate career. He was selected 25th overall in the 2011 National Lacrosse League Draft by the Buffalo Bandits alongside Jeremy, but wouldn’t see a roster spot until 2015. From 2015-2019 Jerome played on both the Bandits and the Swarm. Throughout his career in the NLL, he has: 46 games played, 27 goals, and 63 assists. He is back in the NLL this season after not playing since 2019, this time with the Albany FireWolves after making the team as a free agent.
Miles Thompson: Miles is the third oldest in the group, coming in at 31 years old. Miles attended the University of Albany for college, where he played lacrosse alongside his brother Lyle and their cousin Ty. While at Albany, Miles was a scoring machine, finishing as Albany’s all-time points leader (293) and goals leader (189) at the time. He also won the 2014 Tewaaraton Trophy with his brother Lyle, making them the first-ever Native Americans to win this award.
Miles was drafted 3rd overall in the 2014 National Lacrosse League Draft to the Minnesota Swarm (before the franchise relocated to the Georgia Swarm in 2016). In his rookie year he was named to the NLL All-Rookie team, and since then has been a consistent scorer in the league. Throughout his seven year career with the NLL, Miles has put up fantastic numbers: 100 games played, 205 goals, 137 assists, and 326 Loose Balls. Miles was also a part of the 2017 Georgia Swarm Championship team. Unfortunately for Miles, on November 23 of this year, he was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list which will not allow him to play alongside his two brothers.
Lyle Thompson: Last but not least, Lyle. The youngest of the group, coming in at 30 years old. As stated earlier, Lyle attended the University of Albany with his brother Miles and cousin Ty. While at Albany, Lyle had one of the greatest college careers to date: 2x Tewaaraton Trophy award winner (first ever male to win it in back-to-back seasons), as well as breaking the NCAA record for points (400) and assists (226). He was drafted first overall in the 2015 National Lacrosse League Draft by the Georgia Swarm.
While in the NLL, Lyle has been one of the most accomplished players to date and most recognizable players in the sport: 2016 All-Rookie Team, 2017 NLL Championship MVP, 2017 Regular Season MVP, reigning four time Sportsmanship Award, 101 total games played with 235 goals and 294 assists.
Lyle is perhaps the most accomplished and well known of the Thompson brothers, but he does not let this build him an ego in any way. Lyle, much like his brothers, are always talking about themselves as a whole or their teammates rather than individual accomplishments.
Watch the most famous lacrosse family kick off their season this opening weekend on ESPN+ and TSN.ca and the TSN App. Catch Hiana play Saturday, December 3rd at 7:30pm ET as the Albany Fire Wolves play against the Buffalo Bandits and catch Lyle and Jeremy play Saturday, December 3rd at 8:00pm ET as the Georgia Swarm take on the Rochester Knighthawks.