Let's talk about the Albany Sports Mount Rushmore for a moment, shall we?

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There are a number of players that might have their faces chiseled into the granite for all eternity. Touchdown Eddie Brown is one of the best to call Albany home, and he did his damage on the gridiron. The Tri-City ValleyCats had a number of All-Star baseball players pass through their ranks. NHL regulars like Steve Sullivan and Sergei Brylin were on the Albany River Rats' roster when the team won a Calder Cup in 1995.

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Picasa / University at Albany Athletic Communications
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Not to be outdone, however, is Lyle Thompson, considered one of the greatest lacrosse players of all-time, and a former UAlbany Great Danes' legend.

He makes his return to the Capital Region lacrosse floor tomorrow.


New York Native Thompson is a UAlbany Lacrosse Legend

After an All-American senior season at Salmon River High School, Lyle Thompson made his collegiate debut with Scott Marr and the UAlbany Great Danes in 2012. Playing midfield as a first year, Thompson scored a modest 22 goals and 16 assists, for 38 points.

These were great numbers for a college freshman, but in retrospect, only the tip of the iceberg.

Photo - Bill Ziskin.
Photo - Bill Ziskin.
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After moving to attack as a sophomore, it was game-over for Thompson and the Great Danes. He scored 113, 128 and 121 points in each of his final three seasons in college, sharing the Tewaaraton Trophy with his brother in 2014 as the co-top players in college lacrosse, and winning it by himself in 2015.

He left UAlbany with an even 400 career points in college, the most scored by any college lacrosse player. Ever.


Thompson's Success Has Transitioned to the Pro Game

Naturally, when you perform well in college, you're taken with a top pick in your sport's draft. That was the case with Thompson not once, but twice. He was taken first overall in the outdoor Major League Lacrosse draft, by the Florida Launch in 2015. Not to be outdone, the Georgia Swarm took Thompson with their first overall pick in the indoor National Lacrosse League, also in 2015.

Charlotte Hounds v Florida Launch
Lyle Thompson and brother Miles / Getty Images
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All told, Thompson has scored 203 goals, and added in 259 assists, for 462 points in 90 games in the National Lacrosse League, sticking with Georgia throughout. In the outdoor game, Thompson has 233 points in 55 games between the MLL and Premier Lacrosse League.

Thompson won the NLL MVP in 2017, and won the MLL MVP in 2019. He won a championship in the respective leagues those same years.


Thompson Has Had a Huge Impact on Iroquois National Lacrosse

Unsurprisingly, Thompson's success has translated to the national game. His debut came in 2014, when he and the Iroquois Nationals placed third, their best-ever result in international field lacrosse competition.

Thompson won a silver medal with the national team in 2015, and a bronze in 2018.

Needless to say, Lyle Thompson's resume is one of the best you'll ever find in the game of lacrosse.

So, when you descend upon the MVP Arena tonight at 7PM, and you see Thompson sprint out onto the field, take a moment to appreciate the reunion between player and region that we have all been waiting for.

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