When the Buffalo Bandits drafted Jerome Thompson Jr. with the 25th overall selection in the 2011 draft, General Manager Darris Kilgour had high hopes that pairing Jerome with his older brother Jeremy (whom they selected at ninth overall), the talented Thompson brothers could turn the franchise back into a serious championship contender once again.
Unfortunately for Thompson, Kilgour and the Bandits, those dreams were ultimately shattered when Jerome was released from the team during their final 2012 roster cuts.
While Jerome’s dreams of playing in the NLL may have been put on hold for the time being, his love of the game and his athletic prowess was still reaping dividends in other leagues across North America. One shining example of Thompson’s stellar career outside the NLL was during the summers of 2011 and 2012 as a member of the St. Regis Braves of Sr. B when he recorded 119 points in 25 games over the two seasons.
While Thompson’s phenomenal scoring abilities were on display for St. Regis, NLL scouts were once again looking his way in trying to recruit him to help revamp their rosters. For the 2013 NLL season, the franchise who came calling were the Washington Stealth. Just like his stint with the Bandits, Thompson gave it his all, but still it wasn’t enough to break the Stealth’s 2013 final roster.
On his own once again without a NLL franchise to call his own, Thompson sought out other opportunities in other lacrosse leagues and found a new home with the Iroquois Ironmen of the Canadian Lacrosse League (CLAX). In his 2013 stint with the Ironmen, Thompson recorded 19 points (9G, 10A) in 4 games played and helped lead his team into the playoffs. The Iroquois Ironmen and the play of Thompson helped steal the show during the 2013 playoffs as the Ironmen secured the Creator’s Cup championship on Thompson’s seven points (1G, 6A) in two games played.
Thompson’s success with the Ironmen is just the first of many championships and recognition he has received throughout the rest of his stellar career. Thompson’s trophy mantle at home also claims back-to-back Can-Am Lacrosse championships with the Onondaga Redhawks on route to winning it all as the 2014 Presidents Cup champions. The championship that I believe means the most out of them all will be the bronze medal that he received as a member of the Iroquois Nationals at the 2014 Men’s World Field Lacrosse Championships this past summer in Denver.
Heading into the 2015 season, the Bandits have been looking for the best candidates out there to help with the left side of their offense and I hope that Thompson will finally be able to showcase his full talent and athletic ability and finds major success the second time around with the Bandits.