Lacrosse has always been a big presence in Central New York. The sport was originated by the Iroquois people who have deep roots in Onondaga. Even though the sport is rooted in Native American culture, the World Box Lacrosse championship was never held on native land until 2015 when hosted held by the Onondaga. The documentary “Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation” follows the Iroquois national team through that game and touches on much more about what the sport means to the people.
Lacrosse legends Lyle and Jeremy Thompson were involved in the film and attended the California premiere. The film gave them a sense of pride as a people and the rights they still struggle with today. Being able to participate in playing in the World Box Championship on their own land was also incredibly special.
The documentary also is great because it is helping spread the sport of lacrosse. Already popular in the Northeast and Canada, it is gaining popularity in the South and even internationally. Lyle Thompson plays on the Georgia Swarm professional team that just captured a title a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, brother Jeremy was on the opposing team this time.
The Thompson brothers also are helping to grow the sport personally with a sports academy where they teach youth players. They brought along some lacrosse sticks and gave a few tips to our hosts. Camps are around the country with the closest one to Syracuse being in Monmouth, NJ for youth and highschool players. More on the brothers and the camps can be found at thompsonbrotherslacrosse.us.
If you're interested in seeing the documentary discussed, there will be a screening of "Spirit Game: Pride of the Nation" this Saturday, June 24 at 7p.m. at the Palace Theatre on 2384 James St. in Syracuse.
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