Hervey wins Boone Award

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

Growing up in one of the roughest neighbourhoods in North America, Ed Hervey looked to sports heroes as role models.

On the streets of Compton, California, Magic Johnson was top on the list, with Jim Brown not too far behind.

"We all needed someone to motivate us and look up to (as a kid)," remembered Hervey of his time in the ugly street-gang world that was his hometown.

But on the inner city streets of Edmonton today, Hervey has become a role model for a new generation of youngsters - and for that reason, he's the worthy recipient of the Edmonton Eskimos' second annual David Boone Memorial Award for excellence in community service.

"I like to say that Ed is an old soul," said Eskimo marketing director Dave Jamieson, who determined the winner. "He has got a real sense of compassion for people."

Hervey has made about 30 public appearances this year - from Special Olympics events to inner-city talks.

"We have to go out there and show them that we are real life and there is a people side to us," explained the eight-year wide receiver.

"Football is something that we do, but it is not who we are. This gave me a chance to show who I am."

And the message he delivers to youngsters is quite simple: "The last thing you want to do is get yourself in trouble and find yourself in a world of drugs and alcohol.

"But more importantly, have confidence in yourself."

FINISH LINES: By winning the David Boone award, Hervey is now the Eskimo nominee for the Tom Pate Award, given annually during Grey Cup week to the CFL player that best exemplifies community service.


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