The Medicine Game
"It's a game that was given to us long ago, before there was an earth; that's how old it is. Deyhontsigwa'ehs "They bump hips" The primary purpose of it is to entertain the creator. In its first essence it's a medicine game. The medicine and the ability for it to help was one of the gifts that came with it."
"ONONDAGA NATION TERRITORY, UPSTATE NY"
Dad: "Go! Step in Jeremy, make contact. Ok now come across. I mean if you see him there, you just tuck it in. You gotta go.
Dad: I taught my boys to respect the game of lacrosse And respect means to play as hard as you can, go out there and give everything you can because you're playing for the creator. It's our heritage, you know, to try to respect the trees, the plants, everything. I mean, through a lot of our ceremonies that's what we're taught.
Mom: All we hear is Lacrosse. Supper table, down the road, after the game, it's all we hear. That's when they're the happiest is when they're playing a game of lacrosse, ya know, it's not the same without a lacrosse game going on.
Hiana: I love the game. I love playing it. Makes me feel good.
Jeremy: I just love the game so much, so I play as long as I can.
Dad: I was considered probably a pretty good player. As I was playing, my boys would always sit there and watch the game, whereas other kids they would go run around, get snacks and stuff like that; but my four boys, I can say honestly, that they would sit there and watch and so I know they were learning the game.
Mom: I didn't think of my boys as being like special lacrosse players. I just thought of them as average lacrosse players like any other boys. You know people would say, "Oh my god, did you see what he did?" Like talking about my boys, you know. It never really clicked in until I kept hearing it over and over on how good of a player they are.
Dad: When I see 'em play in the yard, ya know, when they were young, everybody seen it then. They could see that, you know, they were the same age as these kids and they were above, you know, something about 'em, something special.
TV: And finally the Lafayette boys lacrosse team just refuses to lose. Last night's win over JD put the Lancers in 13:0. They're ranked second in the state and a big reason for their success is a pair of high-scoring brothers. Here's Craig Thomas with our five-star athletes of the week.
TV Craig Thomas: You only need to see one play to know that Jerome Thompson #2 and Jeremy Thompson #4 don't share a sibling rivalry. They're all about brotherly love.
H: I was just running down the field and I just got tripped up and I turned around and I saw him right there and...
TV: "they combined for more than sixty goals this season..." (trails off)
We play the game for the creator, to make him happy. We have to play the game the way it's meant to be played with a clear state of mind, just play your hardest. And that makes us different players because we're not out there just to go and run around. We're out there for a purpose. We're out there to play hard, play with fun, and to play with some passion for the creator.
Coach Chuck Wilbur, OCC: The first time I saw Jerome and Jeremy play was 9th grade, I saw 'em play and I said, "Who are these kids?" Ya know this is unbelievable, incredible what they can do at such a young age. And I looked down at the roster, you know, and I see them 9th grade and I was just open your eyes up, who are these kids?
Coach: I'd been around all the highschool programs across the country and I don't think there's two better players in the country.
Greg Scott, Lafayette Varsity Lacrosse Coach: Jeremy Thompson was a pretty special player. I don't see too many kids in this country that are better than him as a senior. He's definitely prob'ly one of the best one or two in the state, if not the country. I would say in the country. With his brother being right there.
Best thing I could say is what another ref said to me, "that kid plays like a man amongst boys." He's been playing for me since he was an 8th grader, the best face-off man I've been around, probably around 80-some percent, which is unheard of. He can shoot the ball out of this world.
And Jerome, he's my crazy lefty, he goes nuts; he plays the game with a lot of reckless abandon, creativity, and he takes it to heart - every time he's on the field. The both of them together, in my opinion, they're the best.
Announcers: For the goal. Thompson got it this time. He got the pass from Jerome Thompson. From his brother. Yep. Brother to brother.
Ever since they were little, Jeremy and Hiana talked about playing for Syracuse. It was their dream since they were little kids, to run out on that field.
Coach: When any kid walks into the dome, for their first impression, with the music pumping and Syrcuse come running out of the locker room, it gives ya a chill. And the first thing that comes to mind is, man, I'd like to do that.
H: Syracuse and lacrosse is like the Yankees and baseball or Notre Dame and football. And as a kid you dream about going to that place and you dream about playing for them.
Dad: They have a goal and they really want to reach it. I mean, they just don't talk about it; that what I'm saying. When lacrosse is over, they just don't stop. We have a course that we run. They don't stop running that just because lacrosse is over. It's only over for the team. I mean they have such a high goal that it doesn't stop for them.
Us growing up we always talked about going to Syracuse and everything and him seeing us actually get there, I think it would make him proud.
Dad: I mean Syracuse University will me, I mean to me, one of the greatest accomplishments because I've known what they've been through as far as their schooling and their life.
(9:51) "DESPITE THE LARGE CONCENTRATION OF TALENTED LACROSSE PLAYERS ON THE ONONDAGA NATION, ONLY A HANDFUL HAVE GONE ON TO PLAY LACROSSE IN COLLEGE."
There's a lot of kids on this reservation that could have went somewhere for lacrosse but they just decided to choose that kind of life and they want to party and everything and some of 'em don't even make it through high school. I dunno, it's just sad.
Mom: What I'm scared of really is them gettin' into the partying and the drugs and it's out there, it's right out there. I'm just afraid of that, but I think they got a good head on their shoulders, their dad preached to them enough to stay away from that. I don't want to see my kids get into that. Be sure they don't.
H: If I don't make it to Syracuse, I'll be really upset with myself just 'cause I've wanted to be there, my whole life I've been trying to get there and if I don't it's gonna be sad and hard for me.
Dad: The one thing I've taught them is to never quit. All we can ever ask them is to give it their best shot.
Jeremy: My mom, I don't even think she graduated from high school. And my dad, he graduated from high school and right from high school he went to work right away.
Dad: My occupation kind of got handed to me because my father was an iron worker and my father's father was ... it's kind of handed down, which I'd like it to stop, ya know, right here but if it doesn't, it doesn't. And if they make that commitment to go to college can be ya know, get through it, it's just another step to where they'll succeed. I know they will.
H: He always wanted us to do good in school. Go to college and get an education, like that was first. Lacrosse was gonna get us there. But he wanted us to push it farther and get an education out of lacrosse. Watching him, how hard he worked everyday, came home and he was always tired but he still had that push to teach us what he had to teach us.
Dad: I've been there with them their whole life. I gave up a lot of stuff for my kids and it's worth it, it really is.
(12:47) "WHEN JEREMY WAS IN THE FIFTH GRADE AND HIANA IN FOURTH, THE THOMPSONS MOVED THEIR KIDS FROM AN ALL MOHAWK LANGUAGE SCHOOL TO LAFAYETTE, AN AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL"
Principal over loudspeaker: "Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
(13:07) "LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL IS LOCATED THREE MILES FROM THE ONONDAGA NATION IN LAFAYETTE, NY."
H: Growing up we went to an all Mohawk school and that's all we learned was the Mohawk language, and at the time we were just learning how to read and write and do everything. We got switched to Lafayette, which, we had to learn English. We didn't know how to write it. We didn't know how to read it. Our first year there we had to read all the easy words like "and" and "the" and "this" and the only two words that we knew were "I" and "A." It was hard because like the alphabet was a little bit different. Like in "k" in Mohawk language, it kinda makes a "g" sound like guh. And "r" it makes an "l" sound. It was hard for us to like put the two together and like learn both of them at the same time.
Teacher lecture: "If there's any type of growth, you see some white coming out of...." (trails off)
H: We had like a certain teacher that just taught us two. We got taught down in the basement and we're startin' lower than everybody and we had to battle our way up and work our way up.
Dad: They started school late, and they've come from so far behind and to catch up and do as well as they're doing now, and just to get that degree and show everybody, cuz I know there's people out there, that actually know them, that don't think they can do it.
Coach: How I consider them academically is like an exchange student almost. A lot of teachers put a lot of time into helping the boys - especially Jeremy. Jeremy had to work super hard. I would say he was probably two grades behind when I first got to know him. His cognitive ability was such that we knew that if he put the hard work in that he would catch up and be successful.
(15:16) "UPON HIS ARRIVAL AT LAFAYETTE, JEREMY WAS DIAGNOSED WITH MULTIPLE LEARNING DISABILITIES. HE WOULD REPEAT THE 6TH GRADE, MOVING HIM INTO THE SAME GRADE AS HIANA."
J: I think lacrosse was a big part of that, made us push through that, because you obviously, in order to play, we had to keep our grades up. I think a big part of it was lacrosse, that lacrosse spirit that was living withinside of us, that we just knew that we loved playing lacrosse and the schooling had to be done.
Dad: You know there's always been tensions between the two cultures, and lacrosse at Lafayette brings the two cultures together. You know, even the families came together and we've never seen that, ya know? I thought it helped, you know, to get through that cultural difference.
Coach: We had Native cultures and white cultures. We had Native players and white players. The kids watched how we interacted. How we respected each other. We set a standard for those kids that were like, "Oh, I get it. I get it. This is what we're doin'."
Me and Jeremy had an awesome time at Lafayette playing lacrosse there because the whole team and all the coaches, were all pretty close and were pretty much like a family. Our freshman year, I'm pretty sure we only lost one game. Won the state championship.
Our junior year we had another great team. We went undefeated that year and we won our second state championship.
It's just an awesome feeling, I mean you work so hard during the season and you know all the people that are there watching you play and that, and who you're playing it for, and it just feels awesome. It's the greatest feeling in the world.
Dad: After the game we got caught on camera hugging each other, but we just couldn't hold it back. It was tears of joy.
(17:50) "SENIOR SEASON, SPRING 2006"
Coach: Everybody. Coaches, players, everybody needs to work a little bit harder this year. And I think we're starting to get there, I think some of you guys are starting to understand. I'm seein' some leadership, ok?
H: After those three years it was looking like it was going to be an awesome ending going into our senior year. Thinking and hoping that we're gonna win another one to top it all off our senior year. All the backyard ball that we'd played at the house pushed over onto the field 'cause we were working together pretty good. I mean, I was leading the team in points and Jeremy, he was unstoppable on the field. We were 15:2 that year and we were looking pretty good going into the playoffs with another state championship run.
Dad: There they are.
Me and Jeremy were getting tons of letters from D1 lacrosse schools. We got 'em from all over, but we both decided that if we were going to go anywhere we were gonna go together and we both wanted to go to Syracuse and play together there.
(19:20) "NCAA REGULATIONS REQUIRE THE BOYS TO EARN A MINIMUM QUALIFYING SCORE ON THEIR SAT'S BEFORE BEING ACCEPTED INTO SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY."
By the time lacrosse season started, me and Jeremy, we took the SATs three times and we still didn't get the scores that we needed to play D1 lacrosse. If we wanted to play at Syracuse we needed to find a way to get those scores up.
(19:48) "MAY 2006 - PLAYOFF WEEK" "4 WEEKS UNTIL GRADUATION"
TV news: "... administrators at Lafayette high school decided to allow Native American students to wear their ethnic clothing to graduation... Some students are protesting that decision- they believe graduation is about Unity... that story and more when the news continues."
Principal: We have looked at this decision from every possible angle and the right thing isn't always the popular decision to make.
Student: "They're not on the reservation. This is our school. Our school is what they're representing when they graduate, not their culture, they're not on the rez. If they wanna go on the rez and wear their regalia, let them."
Student sign: "The Lancer Way not the Native Way"
Dad: When we celebrate something, I mean, that's what we wear. That's our finest clothes when we do something like that.
Bill O'Brien: It's like they don't want it. They think it's breaking tradition.
Dad: But that's their tradition. And what about our tradition? Why leave ours off?
H: They made it sound like they didn't want like the spotlight being on us because we look different than everybody else.
Dad: I went through it and I wore a cap and gown and I didn't feel comfortable but it's something I had to do because they told me I had to do it.
Coach: When you grow up, and I'm not trying to influence your opinion here, but as you grow up there's certain things in life worth fighting for. People's ability to choose in this country, you know, to be able to say this is who I am, I'm proud of this, you can't take that away from anybody, guys, ya know? I firmly support Jeremy and Welke, 110%. Let's be human beings. Treat people with respect. Be good citizens. Whether you're from the Onondaga Nation or the United States of America, you're people. Don't ever forget that. Be proud of who you are. And take the end of the season, and take it to heart, and go out there and bust your butts, lay it all on the line, and go out there and win a championship, because you deserve it.
H: We started our playoffs out on a good note. We crushed the first team we played. We were getting hot at the right time and it looked like we had another good shot at the state title. But the day before that next playoff game, it all fell apart.
Coach: We were just finishing practice; I heard that there was an altercation in the parking lot.
(22:34) "AFTER A WRESTLING MATCH BETWEEN JEREMY AND HIANA BECOMES SERIOUS, ONE OF THE BROTHERS IS BADLY HURT."
Dad: The boys got in a fight and come to find out that Hiana broke his jaw.
H: Jeremy hit me and shoved my head through his window. Shattered the window. And then it pretty much ended there, got broken up. And then they ended up sending me to the hospital. There, they told me I couldn't play in the game.
J: Just the whole day it was just cloudy cuz I didn't have him there and I'm used to always playing with him. I know everything was relying on us that year, you know coming out of the state championship we're expected to, you know, win it again. And I just remember, you know, that game, everything being on me.
H: I actually went to the game, watched the whole thing. It was sad for me. I was mad. I went over in the corner, just sat there. Just started thinking why everything just happened, and how it just happened. It wasn't a good feeling. And then to see our team go down and knowing that I couldn't play in my last HS career game, it just made things kind of worse for me.
J: I just really regret that for him, and I know that's never going to happen again. I know what that feeling was like, and I know what I did to him, and it wasn't a good feeling, you know. So it was kind of like we had a division between us. A division of madness, you know tensions, so it didn't feel good.
H: Me and Jeremy, we didn't get along too good for a while after that. I just couldn't believe that my own older brother actually hit me in the face that hard - enough to hurt me that bad. So, couldn't really forgive him right then and there, or even right away. But in the back of my mind, I didn't want something like this to break our connection up and break our family up.
Every morning we woke up and we all braided each other's hair. And after everything happened between Jeremy and I, it was hard for me and him to even talk to each other. So we'd have to kind of avoid each other, so it was kind of like a weird tension there in the mornings. Like, oh, I need my hair braided but... I'm not gonna ask you.
(26:10) "HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION DAY"
To go into a celebration, you know, you want to wear your best outfit. To us, you know, our full regalia is the best clothing that you can have on to celebrate something like that. That's what we were trying to imply. We didn't want to be different, we just wanted to celebrate the best way we could. They only go through high school once, and all those kids that were involved, they're gonna walk away from their school with lifetime friendships on both sides.
J: It was like we had our own ceremony up there. I had lots of family that were there, and a lot of people from the Nation that were supportive of that and happy of that and it was just a good picture to see.
Principal announcing grads: Jeremy Jerome Thompson. Jerome Dennis Thompson, Jr. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the class of 2006.
J: I just feel relieved now, I can go on to the next level.
"Nya'wenha" (Thank you)
J: I know my dad was definitely happy because it was just so different from how he graduated. It was something that we were representing that was a tradition of our people. I know he really liked that - us fighting for that - it made him feel good inside.
(28:25) "SHORTLY AFTER GRADUATION, THE BROTHERS RECEIVE THEIR FINAL SAT SCORES. THEY DID NOT SCORE HIGH ENOUGH TO PLAY DIVISION 1 COLLEGE LACROSSE IN THE FALL."
H: Even though me and Jeremy weren't talking, we still had to figure out what we were gonna do for college. It looked like a community college was gonna be the only route for us to be able to play at Syracuse.
OCC Coach Chuck: The thing is up here, go to class. We're gonna get you the help, we're gonna get you the right teachers, go to class, go to class, go to class, you'll do fine. Understand you guys got an opportunity to go big time - you're going to Syracuse and stuff. It's not hard to do well here as long as you're not being lazy.
(29:10) "FALL 2006 YEAR ONE OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE"
"JEREMY AND HIANA MUST NOW COMPLETE THEIR TWO YEAR DEGREES TO BE ELIGIBLE TO PLAY FOR SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY."
OCC Coach Chuck: Obviously they were let down a little bit when they didn't get into Syracuse right out of the get-go, I mean that's their dream since they were little guys growing up wanting to put that Syracuse jersey on. Sometimes people need to be knocked down to make them great and become a better student and mature a little bit. And I think they were. They got knocked down a little bit and they realized this is my last chance maybe; I'm gonna get it done.
H: To get tutors to help me with the subjects where I need 'em. need them. I did that wrong. That part don't sound good either. In 5th grade I moved to Syracuse and started learning English. It was hard and it became a problem for me because I'm not a... I'm not good in school and I can't go to school where I want... where I always wanted to. If I can get good grades, I could be out of OCC in a year and be up at Syracuse University.
Is that right? There's a coupla spots, ya know I forget where they are, sounded kinda funny.
Lacrosse is lacrosse, but I don't know just wish I didn't have to go through this, like I wish I could just go right through to Syracuse. Bothers me a little bit, but I gotta do it.
H: My first year up at OCC, we had a lot of Native kids go there that they were in the same boat as I was, didn't have the grades to get into a good D1 school.
I was disappointed that I wasn't playing for Syracuse, but as the season went on at OCC, me and Jeremy became more and more into it because it looked like we might have a chance to win a national championship.
We had a very good team that probably could compete with a lot of D1 schools that year; I mean, we were that good.
(32:10) "FOLLOWING AN UNDEFEATED REGULAR SEASON AND PLAYOFFS, OCC ADVANCES TO THE JUNIOR COLLEGE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME."
OCC Coach: Alright, listen up. This today is the moment you've been working for your whole lives. No one's even tired. No one's gonna have any pain today. We got sixty minutes to get it done. Let's get it done!
Let's go! (cheering)
Let's go white - pick it up white, let's go!
Listen to me; everything you got - 15 minutes - everything! (cheering)
H: That year we won the national championship. It felt real good because I just won another championship, and at the same time, me and Jeremy were still, throughout that whole year, were still trying to like get close and like reunite with each other. It took a while for us to get over what happened back in high school. And that year we kind of grew on each other again and kinda came back, and winning that national championship with him it felt good again like everything went back to normal.
(34:38) "YEAR TWO OF JUNIOR COLLEGE 2007"
H: Me getting to Syracuse it's right there, right there in front of me. I gotta do good on my finals and pass all my classes. It's like the last step I gotta do to get to Syracuse.
When I'm sittin' in a classroom I really don't feel like I'm in the right place because like everyone around me is like different than me. Like most of the people are smarter than me. If I didn't want to play for Syracuse so bad, like, through all these years, then I don't think I would be going to school. It's my family. My little brothers. Trying to put out the right path for them, to keep them going. Like if I don't get through school, they're gonna feel like they don't have to. So I'm trying to fight and push myself to get through school.
Miles: Hiana's pretty smart, he just doesn't do his homework and I do my homework - It's just I don't study for tests. And that's the thing I need to start doing, settling down and not thinking about lacrosse so much.
Mom: I noticed Jeremy, and it's always been like that, he's always had his books, always got his head in a book, always studying. Hiana - he never studies, I've never seen the kid study, never not once study. And I would always ask him, 'is your work done, did you study?' And he would always say, "yah."
Jeremy's got his head in a book always studying, late at night, up early in the morning - sometimes he's up before me and he's studying. I would be so hurt if he didn't make it; you know, 'cause he's trying so hard. I think he would be hurt too.
Teacher "And to have really no end in sight, and deprivation, and losses due to uh reservation conditions and sickness and not having proper medical care, uh, it was really a crisis - it was reaching a crisis level...
J: The second year I was up at OCC, I wasn't really really focused and so my mind wandered off into things I wasn't supposed to be getting into, you know, that are against the ways of our people.
What do you mean?
J: Mind changers.
H: I heard rumors that Jeremy was drinkin' and everybody was just telling me that they were partying with him or whatever.
Mom: I can't say I was in denial because he hid it pretty good. I don't even know if Hiana knew.
H: I didn't really believe that he was drinking because of how we were brought up and the promises that we made to my dad that we wouldn't.
J: When I started, you know, smoking up and drinking, bringing the little alcohol bottles in here - the ones that they have on airplanes and stuff like that, and I just remember chillin' out in my room or go for a ride or walk about. There was other stuff that I did, too, like those painkillers those oxycodone I know I remember taking those just to numb everything. I didn't want to feel anything at that time 'cause of what I was holding in, away from my parents and my family.
H: Lyle looked up to Jeremy a lot. He always listened to him. And like Jeremy was Lyle's role model. I know it hurt Lyle because Lyle told me that he couldn't listen to Jeremy anymore because... he felt like he couldn't listen to him because he went around all our backs and did that. So it was hard for Lyle and it was hard for all of us.
(39:30) "IN MAY OF 2008, JEREMY ENTERS A TRIBAL RUN RECOVERY AND SPIRITUAL HEALING CENTER ON THE AKWESASNE RESERVATION."
Dad: JEREMY had his problems with alcoholism and he knew that it was a problem He actually did it himself, he knew what he had to do. Got into some ceremonies that actually helped him, you know, inside. He started to heal himself inside, and I give him a lot of credit for that. A lot of people out there it'll take 'em a lifetime to do that - to realize that they got to be healed inside first. He's young and he's already did that so I think he'll move on and grow and teach that at the same time because he's already been through it.
J: I guess everybody has their break-points in life, fortunately I was lucky enough to have that come to when I'm young. Some people, you know, go through their whole life drinking, drugin. That's not the path I know I want. I'm happy now, you know, it's just I'm trying to find that inner peace, happiness. It's coming to me and I really like it. I like the way things are. It just wasn't the true me before and now that the true me is coming out now. It's like I'm happy. I know what my purpose is here now and I want to try to help my people out in the best way I can from what I learned and experienced.
Dad: I think when Jeremy overcame his drinking problem he realized what he was missing out on because he has a purpose, you know, he's so focused. I mean, I see it. He's focused in just about everything he's doing right now. He's human, he gets discouraged but he knows how to cope with it now. He doesn't have to fall back and do the drinkin'.
(41:51) FALL 2008
"AFTER A POOR ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN THE SPRING SEMESTER THE BROTHERS MUST RETURN FOR A THIRD YEAR OF COLLEGE"
H: I'm kinda stuck in this big situation 'cause I got this dream that I've always been dreaming about for pretty much my whole life, but then this summer I kinda met a girl and I kinda fell for her. At the same time I had to get ready and come to school. If I went to school then I kind of, like in my mind, I figured I'd lose her because she was three hours away. I fell in love and I couldn't help it but try to go and try to be with her, so that's what I did.
(43:01) "FOUR WEEKS INTO THE SEMESTER, HIANA DROPS OUT OF SCHOOL TO MOVE NEAR HIS GIRLFRIEND ON THE AWKWESASNE RESERVATION"
"EIGHT MONTHS LATER"
"JEREMY HAS COMPLETED HIS THIRD YEAR OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND HAS APPLIED TO SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY."
"HE HAS YET TO RECEIVE A RESPONSE"
J: Oh-ho, that's something at least. First class mail, Delores, Verizon Jerome, Miles Andrew Thompson. Son of a... Nothin'.
Dad: Well, maybe tomorrow, go to the box again.
J: Tell me two weeks I was gonna find out something.
Mom: It's been three weeks now.
J: Last week I was supposed to find out.
(44:12) "FIVE DAYS LATER A LETTER FROM SYRACUSE ARRIVES."
J: Congratulations on your admissions to the College of Visual Arts and Performance.
Mom: Yes - he's in!!! Now we gotta celebrate.
J: Well looks like I'm in, better start training. I'm in - like I'm finally in.
Dad: He finally made it. He's tried so hard and he's really worked a lot to get there, and he finally got there. I'm, I really was an emotional guy but ...that's ...
J: I can always tell when he means something, he's really proud, and I can really feel that inside and I can, when he just grabbed me, and took my hand, and I could just really feel that he's real proud and happy. I'm startin something out here that, you know, that he didn't have. So...
TV: The Syracuse lacrosse program will have some big shoes to fill next season if they are to defend their national title. It appears that they are now on their way to doing so. University officials have confirmed Jeremy Thompson has enrolled at SU and is taking classes. He's the oldest of the four Thompson brothers from Lafayette. And at 20 goals and 28 assists for the national champion Onondaga....
Dad: He's been in school now for two weeks. His workload now, I mean, he doesn't slow down. When he's got an essay due the next day, he'll stay up all night because he's gonna have to have the grades to even play lacrosse. I mean that's his dream, to go to Syracuse University and play lacrosse. I don't feel sorry for him, but I want to help him so bad. And I don't know how to do it really. But that's his drive, that's how I know he'll succeed. He's gonna do it no matter what.
J: When I'm up here at the University, my mind's always with my family and my people. For myself, it's almost like I'm living in two worlds. Having to go out and get a degree, that's what's required to live in today's society.
Along with that, I've committed myself to I committed myself to going back to my nation, the things that are done in the longhouse and just to have a better understanding 'cause that's part of me, that's where I come from.
J: When I was up at the University, doing schooling and everything like that, and sports and everything just being so much, I think it ended up getting to me. You know it did cross my mind that where I wanted to give up and I wanted to let go.
I think the reason why I stuck it out, you know, stayed up there, stayed strong within my self, and my commitments, I think I was more or less being a role model, you know, a good example for my people and the younger ones that are underneath me and that I can tell that they look up to me. And you know that's how I see it, I see it as I'm doing this for them, you know, it's not for me.
J: What's up momma C?
Mom: What the heck'd you do? Oh my goodness, who shaved you?
H: What'd you do to yourself?
Mom: Everybody's asked me, you know, if it's true that Jeremy's up at SU now, and I'm like, Yah. They all ask about Hiana. And I'm like, Oh Hins. Hins is Hins. I don't know what's going on with that guy. I always tell everyone he fell in love. So, he was in love before but I think he really fell in love now.
(49:29) "SHORTLY AFTER JEREMY'S ACCEPTANCE, HIANA DECIDES TO RETURN TO OCC TO CONTINUE PURSUING HIS DREAM."
Dad: When Jeremy got accepted to Syracuse, that was probably my second thought, you know, what about Junior? I know when he starts something, he'll finish it but it's just gonna take him longer. We've always seen that. He's always followed Jeremy around. It's hard to say, you know, if he's gonna get there. We're still hoping. I know it's still his dream, and how many more obstacles does he have to go through?
Dad: You think you're gonna graduate?
H: Ummm, yah. All I gotta do is pass all these classes and I think I can do that.
Dad: What if you don't?
H: Then I prob'ly won't go to school anymore.
Dad: What are you gonna do?
H: Maybe work and enter the draft.
Dad: What kind of work?
H: I don't know, I haven't really decided. Prob'ly ironing.
Dad: No you aint.
H: Why? You did it...why can't I?
Wiz: Me and Hiana talk about our dreams sometimes. He talks about SU and how he wants to make it there to play lacrosse. But I know if he doesn't make it there, then he'll feel really bad like he let alot of people down, his mother, his father, there's a lot of people.
H: I try to live my life without having regrets but I kinda do because I really wish that I would have tried harder in high school so that I coulda went to Syracuse right out of high school instead of doing all this stuff. If I don't get into Syracuse this year, I don't think I'm gonna keep on trying because something's telling me it's just time to move on.
(52:03) "YOUNGER BROTHERS LYLE AND MILES ARE QUICKLY BECOMING TWO OF THE TOP HIGH SCHOOL LACROSSE PLAYERS IN THE COUNTRY"
Are they the next two big guns?
J: Oh yah, for sure. Prob'ly just not here in the winter time.
H: Miles and Lyle are gonna be great lacrosse players. I can bet you they're gonna be better than me and Jeremy. They're my little brothers and I just want them to be the best. I know they look up to me and Jeremy so I just hope that they learned a lot from watching us and seeing everything we went through.
(52:57) "DECEMBER 2009"
Phone: J: What are you doing now?
H: Just Chillin'. What are you up to?
J: ...went to go pick up my Christmas gifts. How'd school finish up? How's your semester going?
H: Ummm, not too good.
J: What do you mean.
H: Ummm, I kind of stopped going, I didn't really finish it.
J: What do you mean you stopped going?
H: I did bad on a couple tests and I didn't do a couple of papers in a couple classes and I pretty much needed all these classes to even graduate. I figure I wasn't even gonna pass those so why even bother, ya know.
J: Man, I don't like to hear that.
H: Yah, I know but...
H: All those years that I was trying to get in there, it was stressful for me. I felt like I was pulling everything into getting there, and after I just said enough was enough then it just felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.
When I quit I moved up north, up to Akwesasne. And I just kind of sat up there and started re-thinking what I want to do next.
And we're off to work.
I don't plan on doing this forever; I'm just doing this for now until I figure out what I'm doing.
H: Jeremy's first game's coming up here for Syracuse - it's this Friday. It's gonna be the first game that he hasn't played without me for a long time. I'm happy for Jeremy that he made it there, but it's just probably gonna be hard for me just 'cause like I thought I was gonna be there, thought I was gonna be playing right with him, but I didn't make it and I'm just gonna have to sit there and watch him play knowing that I shoulda and coulda been there too.
We'll be at the game watching, cheering him on. So, I don't know, I hope he tears it up.
(55:44) "FEBRUARY 10th SYRACUSE FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON"
Miles: I was gonna take a little off this side.
"I'm just dropping a player off."
Miles: I don't know - excited now. I wanna see him tear it up and make a name for himself, a big name. That's my goal, when I get to the D1 level. That's what all of our goals is. Having my brother play at Syracuse, it's I don't know, I just think it's gonna be big for me just to watch him play.
H: It's gonna be cool to see a Thompson behind an orange jersey. It's gonna be bang! About two minutes before the game, I'll start gettin' pumped. Or maybe when I see him start warming up.
Dad: Just anxious, anxious for the whistle. If he gets the ball, he'll do something with it.
Announcer: Good evening everyone, welcome to the Carrier dome and welcome to Syracuse lacrosse 2010. The quest for a second three-peat in the history of this school.
Crowd cheering - Jeremy Thompson
Miles: Let's go Jeremy!
Announcer: Jeremy Thompson on the face-off. And Jeremy Thompson wins his first career face-off. Thompson's on... works his way toward the right end... shoots and makes it
H: When I finally found out that Jeremy got into Syracuse it made me feel proud because I saw how hard he was working to finally get there and accomplish his really big dream. I wish I could have did it with him but I was happy enough to see him get there and do really well.
Mom: It just brings back a lot of childhood memories of him as a kid saying he wanted to go to Syracuse and a little kid running around with a stick and now he's my little man, all grown up at SU.
J: Where I am today is where I am and I'm happy, I'm happy with everything that I have and it's only getting better. I definitely don't regret anything that I did or anything that happened to me 'cause that's the way it was meant for me.
J: I'm on a learning path right now and it just continues to get stronger every day. I know the more I learn about my people, our history, and just our way, and the language, and having that gives me a better understanding of who I am.
(1:01:06) "SUMMER 2010 AKWESASNE RESERVATION"
H: Oh, I can see the arena. I'm gonna have to say that life is, life is real good right now. I'm getting back in shape, working out. Playing lacrosse - box lacrosse right now. I just love the game of lacrosse so much that I can, I'll play the game anywhere just as long as I can play for as long as I can. It'd be awesome to sometime in the near future to play with all my brothers, but for now I just wanna play lacrosse.
H: Me and my girl, we're madly in love We're gonna get married soon. We're gonna start a family. I'm just real excited for the next chapter in my life. I didn't accomplish one of my dreams of playing for Syracuse. But the next dream in line after that was to play professional lacrosse and that's the dream I'm going after right now and I'm going to try and accomplish that. I'm training real hard right now and I'm working real hard trying to get in shape so that I can be one of the top professional lacrosse players. This new dream ... there's not a thing that's gonna hold me back from it.
H: Big game here, just gettin' ready. Me and Miles versus Jeremy and Lyle. We're definitely going to tear 'em apart. We got a little corner set up there in the net. Just gotta put it in there. First one to five wins. Done.
Dad: The greatest gift that you can give your child is your time. Money and this and that it's basically meaningless because it's here and then it's gone. But your time with your child will stay with them it sticks to them because it's something that you get to teach them - hand on hand, face to face with them. That's why I think my family is close. They miss each other. When one of the brothers are gone and they get back together, you can see the joy in their faces.... yah, we're back together. time has passed and I'm a grandfather now and I know that my kids are gonna raise their kids in the same manner because right now I had the chance to see it. My hope is that other people can see this and build off from that because it's all true. All this.
(1:04:56) "ON SEPTEMBER 18, 2011, HIANA'S NEW DREAM FINALLY CAME TRUE"
"HE WAS CHOSEN 25th OVERALL BY THE BUFFALO BANDITS OF THE NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE"
"WITH THE 9th PICK IN THE DRAFT, THE BANDITS SELECTED ANOTHER PLAYER FROM THE ONONDAGA NATION..."
"IN JANUARY OF 2012, HIANA AND WIZ HAD THEIR FIRST CHILD, CAVIN. THEY ARE NOW MARRIED."
"JEREMY IS HAPPILY MARRIED AND IS A PROUD FATHER TO THEIR BABY GIRL, EMERY."
(1:05:49) "MILES AND LYLE WENT ON TO BREAK MANY OF THEIR OLDER BROTHERS' RECORDS AT LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL. BOTH BROTHERS EARNED THE TEST SCORES NEEDED TO PLAY D1 COLLEGE LACROSSE. THEY CHOSE TO PLAY TOGETHER FOR THE UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY.
IN 2013, MILES AND LYLE LED ALBANY TO ITS FIRST NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE IN 6 YEARS. BOTH FINISHED THE SEASON AMONG THE NATION'S TOP TEN IN TOTAL POINTS, WITH LYLE LEADING D1 WITH 113 POINTS."
"AFTER THE COMPLETION OF FILMING, JEREMY WAS TRADED FROM BUFFALO TO EDMONTON AFTER TWO SUCCESSFUL SEASONS. HIANA IS SEARCHING FOR A NEW TEAM."
THE FOUR THOMPSON BROTHERS HOPE TO ONE DAY PLAY ON THE SAME PROFESSIONAL LACROSSE TEAM.
- The Medicine Game
- Contributing Organization
- Vision Maker Media (Lincoln, Nebraska)
- AAPB ID
- Program Description
- "There are two times of the year that stir the blood. In the fall for the hunt, and now for lacrosse." -Esteemed Elder Oren Lyons, Jr. (Onondaga/Seneca) Two brothers from the Onondaga Nation pursue their dreams of playing lacrosse for national powerhouse Syracuse University. The obstacles in their way are frequent and daunting, but their love for the game, each other, and their family's unyielding determination, propels these youth towards their dream.
- Broadcast Date
- Asset type
- Media type
- Moving Image
Producer: Korver, Lukas
Producer: Halpin, Jason
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Vision Maker Media
Identifier: 2013-00828 (VMM Inventory #)
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- Chicago: “The Medicine Game,” 2013-00-00, Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-508-pn8x922951.
- MLA: “The Medicine Game.” 2013-00-00. Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-508-pn8x922951>.
- APA: The Medicine Game. Boston, MA: Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-508-pn8x922951