It’s been a long road to the National Lacrosse League for forward Jerome Thompson.
Originally drafted 25th overall by Buffalo at the 2011 NLL Draft, Thompson was cut before the season began. His brother Jeremy, the ninth overall pick of that same draft class, made the Bandits’ opening-night roster and played his rookie season in Buffalo, but was traded the following offseason to the Edmonton Rush.
Flash forward to 2014, and Jerome was once again fighting for a roster spot in Buffalo throughout the preseason. Thompson was strong in his first game action in the preseason, picking up two goals and three assists in a 10-9 win over New England. His offensive body of work throughout the preseason convinced the Bandits coaching staff that he could be an impact player in the regular season.
When Thompson was pressed into his first regular season action in the Bandits’ home opener against Edmonton, the 26-year-old posted two assists in a 9-8 victory.
“It went good,” Thompson said of his debut performance. “A little nervous out there in the beginning, my first NLL game, but it felt good out there after getting along and getting going with the other teammates. We were moving the ball well.”
The Thompson name is widely recognized throughout the sport of lacrosse, and the family is building a strong presence in the NLL. Jerome and Jeremy Thompson were joined in the NLL this season by their younger brother, Miles, a rookie forward for the Minnesota Swarm.
Jerome’s cousin, Ty, was drafted last September by New England, but did not make the team. However, another of Thompson’s cousins, Bill O’Brien, made the Black Wolves’ roster as a defenseman after a four-year football career at Sacred Heart University.
“It just feels good that more of us are getting into the League and doing well,” Thompson said.
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Story by Joe Ray for Bandits.com. Photo by Bill Wippert.