September 26, 2009
New Bombers receiver loves to give back
By KIRK PENTON
Community service has always been a big part of Otis Amey's life.
From helping his mom work with autistic children to being named a finalist for his philanthropic work with the Arena Football League's Cleveland Gladiators, the 27-year-old receiver has always given back.
Amey, who will make his CFL debut tonight against the Toronto Argonauts, said his parents were always working when he was a kid, trying to support him and his brothers.
He therefore didn't always have someone available to tell him what was right and what was wrong. That's why he does what he does.
"When I was coming up I never had anybody do that for me, and it kind of hurt me growing up," he said. "So I just want to give back any way I can, while I can."
When Amey played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2005, he said he did the most community service of anyone on the team. He was often at a local YMCA, doling out as much advice as possible.
"I'm trying to be that big brother to a lot of younger kids," Amey said. "That's what I do when I'm at home. I teach underprivileged kids. I go talk to them about life, about sports, about how to manage their money. I'm a motivational speaker."
Amey grew up in Union City, Calif., about 15 minutes south of Oakland. After graduating from James Logan High School, he accepted a scholarship offer from Sacramento State.
The quarterback and running back during Amey's redshirt freshman campaign at Sac State were none other than current Edmonton Eskimos pivot Ricky Ray and Winnipeg's franchise rushing leader, Charles Roberts.
"It was quite an experience, because we had a really good offence then at Sac State," Amey said. "So I got to learn a lot from watching them."
Amey, in fact, now sits in Roberts' old locker.
"I didn't pick it," he said. "They just kind of put me here. I found out later it was Charlie's."
Amey appeared in 11 games for the 49ers in 2005, and the first time he touched the ball in his first regular-season game, on a punt return, he took it 75 yards for a touchdown.