DETROIT — Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah will be honored as the Ed Block Courage Award recipient at the 24th annual Detroit Lions Courage House Dinner on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at Ford Field. The dinner annually benefits HAVEN, Oakland County's center for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence and sexual assault. The dinner has raised more than $2.2 million for HAVEN over the last 23 years.
The Ed Block Courage Award annually goes to a Lions player who exemplifies sportsmanship and has overcome injury and/or adversity to excel on the field. During his rookie campaign in 2015, Abdullah suffered a shoulder injury late in the season. He continued to compete and play with the injury and had surgery when the season ended in early 2016. After months of rehabilitation, Abdullah returned to form and was named starting running back in 2016. Unfortunately, he injured his foot during Week 2 of the 2016 season and was unable to appear in any remaining games. The third-year veteran once again made a full recovery and has appeared in both games of the 2017 season for 116 rushing yards to date.
"The same patience, discipline, hard work and passion he displays in his play and recovery from injury he also utilizes as cornerstones for life outside of football," said Detroit Lions Head Trainer Kevin Bastin. "Ameer is deeply involved in the Detroit community and is a true difference maker in the lives and causes that he embraces. Though he has faced his own challenges, Ameer uses his platform to help and support those deserving of a better life."
Previous Ed Block Award Recipients include: LB Ken Fantetti (1984), G/T Keith Dorney (1985), C Steve Mott(1986), CB Duane Galloway (1987), WR Carl Bland (1988), LB Jimmy Williams (1989), CB Bruce McNorton(1990), G Mike Utley (1991), G Ken Dallafior (1992) and C Kevin Glover (1993), LB Victor Jones (1994), WR Aubrey Matthews (1995), S Bennie Blades (1996), T Ray Roberts (1997), LB George Jamison(1998), DL Dan Owens (1999), DT James Jones (2000), QB Charlie Batch (2001), FB Cory Schlesinger (2002), DE Robert Porcher (2003), DE Jared DeVries (2004), LB Boss Bailey (2005), the late Lions' director of security Ricky Sandoval (2006), RB Kevin Jones (2007), S Daniel Bullocks (2008), T Jeff Backus (2009), K Jason Hanson(2010), QB Shaun Hill (2011), RB Jahvid Best (2012), WR Nate Burleson (2013), WR Calvin Johnson (2014), RB Joique Bell (2015), QB Matthew Stafford (2016).
Lions Legend Mike Lucci will be presented with the Ricky Sandoval Award. The Ricky Sandoval Award*recognizes individuals that have made contributions both in sports and in the community. The award is named in honor of the late Lions director of security who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in July 2009. Past Ricky Sandoval Award Recipients have been:Steve Yzerman(2004),Roger Penske(2005),Jerome Bettis(2006),Charlie Sanders(2007),Lem BarneyandDave Bing(co-recipients in 2008),Mike Utley(2009),Eric Hipple(2010),Tim Pendell(2011),Doug English(2012),Kent Falb(2013),Dean Kleinschmidt(2014),Mitch Albom (2015) andLomas Brown*(2016).
To purchase tickets or inquire about sponsoring the Lions' Courage House Dinner please visit http://www.detroitlions.com/courage-house.html or contact Sheela Manyam at 248.799.6668.