OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – The Thompson brothers paid a visit to the College of the Muscogee Nation and donated lacrosse equipment to MCN students April 25. The brothers came on the behalf of the 4 the Future Foundation, an organization dedicated to “engaging the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle while promoting the attributes of the student-athlete and a call for generational leadership”. The brothers spoke on their careers, performed a lacrosse demonstration and played with students afterward.
The charity strives to serve indigenous and underserved communities where lacrosse meets culture in order to create opportunities for students. Programs the charity offer include lacrosse camps/clinics, speaking engagements, health and wellness education, and fundraisers.
The Thompson brothers consist of Jeremy, Jerome, Miles and Lyle. They are of the Onondaga Nation, which is part of the Iroquois Confederacy. Growing up, lacrosse played an important role in the Thompson household.
“When we were younger, we grew up without running water or electricity until I was about 13 years old and there was one thing that kept our family together and that was lacrosse,” Lyle said. “We were always out in the yard, playing, picking up our sticks, this is one thing we’ve always had in our hands”.
The sport not only brought the Thompson family closer together, it provided the brothers opportunities to attend college and play on professional lacrosse teams.
While lacrosse is not a traditional sport played in the Muscogee (Creek) culture, it bears a lot of similarities to stick ball. The Onondaga Nation refers to lacrosse as the Medicine Game, due to its spiritual connection to the Creator.
“We’re very blessed and honored to be here and share this game. I think there are a lot of opportunities here to cross bridges,” Jeremy said.
Starting Indigenous students on cultural sports like lacrosse early is an important goal set by the 4 the Future Foundation. “If we can put a stick in a kid’s hand, there’s going to be a ripple effect to other kids,” Lyle said.
The College of the Muscogee Nation was grateful for the opportunity to host the engagement. CMN President Monte Randall believes that the event served as a wonderful opportunity for student athletes to engage with professional players.
“Being recognized by people at that level, professional athletes, those who have that desire to serve these types of communities, I think that recognition is going to be very beneficial to our students, our campus and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation,” Dr. Randall said.
After the speaking engagement was over, the brothers played lacrosse with students. The Thompson brothers are well aware of their image and the impact they have on young students.
“I feel honored to be that good example, set a good footprint for generations to come up, just to poetically listen to it, feel it, see it, that’s good to hear when we get feedback like that. It’s such a great feeling,” Jeremy said.
For more on the Thompson brothers, visit: www.4thefuturefoundation.org/.