By Marco Rosa | 7/17/14 10:40 AM
The Rochester Rattlers have activated Ty Thompson for Thursday night’s game against Chesapeake (7 p.m., YouTube). At the end of the NCAA season we caught up with him and asked him about his expectations as he concluded his collegiate career at the University of Albany and embarked on his professional one.
Albany finished the 2014 season 12-6 overall, with a 5-0 record in the America East Conference. The team’s season came to a devastating end, losing to Notre Dame 14-13 in overtime in the NCAA quarterfinals on May 17. Both Ty and Miles, along with Miles’ younger brother Lyle, were the top scorers for Albany, as well as the leaders in points and assists.
Ty has played in a total of 67 games for Albany, starting 66 of them, and throughout his college career accumulated 154 goals and 41 assists. His collegiate awards include being named a member of the 2011 America East Conference All-Rookie Team, 2013 America East All-Conference Second team, and a 2013 All-America Honorable Mention.
While many kids grow up hoping to play in a professional sports league, the opportunity to play for a Major League Lacrosse team holds a deeper meaning for the Thompsons. Lacrosse’s history is deeply rooted in Native American culture, and is a sport the family holds dear.
“It’s just amazing because this has been my goal as a kid—I’ve always wanted this and it’s here now,” said Ty. “I don’t think it really has hit me yet. I’m just honored to have this opportunity and I look forward to being on Rochester and wear that jersey with pride.”
Ty will be joining his former Albany teammate and cousin Miles on the team. Although Miles is currently tied up with the Iroquois Nationals at the FIL World Lacrosse Championships, he has already made a significant impact on the league co-leader Rattlers contributing seven goals and four assists.
“Not too often can you play college lacrosse with a family member or cousin and then transfer that over to the same pro league team,” Ty continued. “So that’s another amazing feeling. A lot of people are following us now and, you know, we just love giving back to the younger kids, and we’re happy this is happening for us.”
While visiting at the NCAA finals, the Thompsons were greeted like rock stars everywhere they went and the excitement surrounding them was palpable. Something that is not lost on Ty as he continues to help grow the sport.
“I feel like, you know, it started with the media back at Albany,” he said. “We had ABC and stuff like that, and it started getting pretty big, but once ESPN came on board, it was like, “wow this is a whole other level.” And I just watched a clip earlier and I got tears in my eyes. It’s amazing. But it’s just stuff like that that makes me feel grateful for this opportunity and where I am in life, and I just want to help out the ones in need.”
Ty barely missed out on the 23-man Iroquois Nationals roster, but he still has pride in his voice when talking about the team as they embark on a semifinal game against Canada.
“I honestly think that this is a really, really talented team,” he continued. “We’re young, but you know our style of game is just—we play a different game, and this group is gonna bring another dimension, and we might be young, but we’re gonna come out flying. I think teams are gonna have to look out for us.”
As he begins his professional career Thursday night against Chesapeake (7 p.m. on YouTube), Ty will be realizing a lifelong dream, something he also told his father Christian a long time ago.
“This has been a dream come true since he was young,” Christian Thompson said. “He told me when he was like maybe a 12-year-old, “I want to go D1 and I want to pro.” That was his goal. So he followed his goal—so he’s there. And that’s awesome.”