The People of New York exhibit opened today at the State Capitol in Albany, highlighting the state’s diversity in such areas as culture, religion, language and more. For its The First Peoples section which honors the heritage of indigenous people in New York, organizers have placed life sized cutouts of Lyle and Miles Thompson, two of the famed family of brothers who through the sport of lacrosse continue to serve as role models across the continent, in jerseys of their National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Georgia Swarm, the indoor league’s team for which they compete.
Lyle and Miles were both born in Onondaga Nation, near Syracuse, N.Y. The brothers are two of the most recognizable and celebrated lacrosse players in the world. Along with their older brothers Jeremy and Jerome, they serve as role models for Native youth all across North America.
At University at Albany, Lyle became the first male recipient of the Tewaaraton Award in consecutive seasons and set a new NCAA Division I record for career points (400) and assists (225). As a senior at Albany, Miles was the co-recipient of the Tewaaraton Award with his brother Lyle and set a NCAA Division I record for most single season goals (82).
“I think it’s something special to represent not only myself and my family, but my community and really to represent [University of] Albany, a program that’s really done a lot for me,” Lyle said. To look back on what it would mean to be in this exhibit, I think it represents a lot for Native people. It’s a proud moment for me.”
The duo are among the most famous players in the growing NLL, which expanded from nine teams last year to 11 this season and will boost to 13 next year, including a new Long Island-based squad. Through 10 games this year, Lyle has a league-best 28 goals, while Miles has netted 11 for the Swarm, off to a 7-3 start.
“Lyle and Miles are recognized as two of the best lacrosse players in the history of the game,” Swarm Owner and General Manager John Arlotta said. “They have won many prestigious awards and championships, and they’ve had a significant impact on how the game is played. However, they have had an equally significant impact off the field where they have educated thousands of people, both old and young, on Native American culture and values. Their positive impact on society truly extends well beyond the sport of lacrosse.”
The year-long exhibit, announced by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, will be on display for a year in the East Gallery of the building’s second floor.
Fans wanting to make the trip to Western N.Y. to see the Thompsons will have two upcoming chances: March 9 at Buffalo and March 15 at Rochester.