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Lyle Thompson ready for final UAlbany season

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By Aaron Cheris

Sports Editor 

sports.asp@gmail.com

Feb. 11, 2015

  

This season, Lyle Thompson will be playing without a relative on the team for the first time in his college career.
This season, Lyle Thompson will be playing without a relative on the team for the first time in his college career. Photo from UAlbany Athletics

   Lyle Thompson’s career at the University at Albany has been a historic one, and he still has one more season left with the Great Danes. Also the father of two young children, Thompson talked with the ASP as he prepares for his senior season. This is a continuation of last week’s interview with Thompson.

What Native American traditions have you brought with you to UAlbany?

I just want to keep my ways and not forget. A lot of Native Americans go off to school and never go back. They get caught up in either the school, the work, whatever it is and they never go back to the community. I can see why and I see it with my own eyes. My goal is to show everybody that you can go off to school and not forget who you are. The biggest thing for me in my family is staying away from the alcohol and drugs. I’ve never touched a sip of alcohol or any drug and that’s a huge thing for me.

How do you balance your family, your children, lacrosse, and your education?

Using your time wisely. I don’t really get a rest throughout the day. I go to class, I go to practice, and I go home and I’m with the kids. Whatever it is, I make sure I’m busy and not just sitting around.

What was it like for you and brother Miles to both have successful seasons for UAlbany individually last season?

It was crazy. It was fun. Especially doing it with my brother. Winning the Tewaaraton Trophy with him was huge. I played with him growing up and to see how far we’ve come together, it’s a good feeling.

It seems like you and Miles are competing to see who scores the most during the game. Is that the case?

It’s almost the opposite. It’s not a competition at all. Miles always wants me with the ball on my stick and he wants me to have a big game. At the same time, I want the same for him. I don’t like when he doesn’t show up on the score sheet. He does his role and we know what we’re capable of. I play my role, he plays his role, the whole team together as a whole, we did a good job last year of everyone knowing what we’re good at in running our system.

In the summer, you and Miles shared the Tewaaraton Trophy, college lacrosse’s highest honor. Were you expecting to share it with him? Describe that experience.

That’s my biggest accomplishment. I wasn’t expecting it, I thought it was going to be one or the other. Being up there with him was an emotional moment. It felt good to be up there with him and it meant so much more being up on that stage winning that trophy with him rather than just myself or him up there.

Miles, Ty, and yourself seemed to create a new highlight reel every game, how were you able to do that? And does any of that even surprise you.

Anytime you’re on SportsCenter, that’s a good moment. It’s practice, keeping the stick in your hand. You keep that stick in your hand and good things will come from it. Those shots are rarely planned, in the moment it just happens from experience of playing in the game.

How are you doing now without Miles and cousin Ty on the team?

It’s been different. In the fall, we got freshman Connor Fields and transfer Seth Oakes. Oakes is someone who I grew up playing with and Fields is someone who I played with in the fall. We work really well together but we still need work and to get on the same page. That’s the biggest thing, being on the same page with everything. That was a big thing with me, Miles and Ty, we knew each other so well.

You were picked first in the MLL draft by the Florida Launch. Were your surprised by that?

I expected to go number one, all the articles were saying it. It doesn’t really matter when you were drafted, it matters how you play your first year. I’m focused on this season. I’m not worried about the pros yet. I don’t know what to expect or the league, both of my brothers are in the league. They’re going to give me pointers on what the league is like. I’ll be prepared and I’ll work to get better.

Statistics wise, you are one of the best players in the world. Do you think you’re the greatest in the world?

I never gave that any thought. I don’t compare myself to anybody. They’re different players than I am. Every player is unstoppable in their own way. They’re players that are hard to guard and I hope I’m that player too.

What should UAlbany fans expect from you this year?

For our team, our goal is to win a national championship and stay undefeated. My goal is to be prepared against every team. I know that I’m the center of attention for every team. Teams are going to double me fast and deny me the ball. I need to be prepared for that and still make the team better. As a team goal for me, I’d like to still be the number one offense in the country like we were last year.

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