07/20/2012 2:05 PM
CHICAGO – Chicago Rush WR REGGIE GRAY has been named National Guard Community MVP of the Week for his recent philanthropic efforts.
Gray (5-10, 175, Western Illinois) is in his second season with both the AFL and the Rush. Gray was voted the Week 19 J. Lewis Small Ironman of the Week, after he recorded 251 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns against Milwaukee. In his rookie season, he earned Second Team All-Arena honors and was named to the All-Ironman Team in 2011.
When Gray isn’t at practice or games, he mentors at-risk youths as a residential adviser for Youth Outreach Services in Riverdale, IL.
“I try leading children in the right direction,” Gray said. “I want to open their eyes to see the bigger picture of life and hopefully make the right decisions.”
Gray also volunteers with the Rush by going to churches and speaking to juvenile delinquents.
“I try to reach out to the community as much as I can,” Gray said. “I just wish we would do it more because these kids need to be educated.”
Gray knows first-hand how gang-related violence can change a life. When he was 17 years old, his brother Percy was shot and killed in front of his home. Gray now dedicates his time to trying to improve the lives of Chicago’s youth. Gray also pays homage to his brother on the playing field.
“I pray before every game, take a knee after the National Anthem and speak to my brother and God,” Gray said. “We called him ‘Trae’ because he was Percy Gray III. Before every kick return, I throw up three fingers to remember him. I still play this game in his name.”
Chicago (10-7) will face the Cleveland Gladiators (7-10) Saturday at 7:30 pm ET. The game will be broadcasted on Ustream.tv/afl.
The National Guard Community MVP is awarded to one player each week in recognition of their commitment to community service. Following the 2012 season, players will be voted on by fans to become the National Guard Community MVP of the Year.