A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the 2006 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, Tomlinson will serve as the namesake for the prestigious annual award recognizing outstanding high school football student-athletes
The Los Angeles Chargers and the National Football Foundation (NFF) - Los Angeles Chapter today announced the creation of the LaDainian Tomlinson High School Player of the Year Award, presented by Nike. Finalists for the inaugural award, which honors one male and one female high school senior football student-athlete in the Los Angeles community, will be publicly announced and celebrated this Sunday, January 7 during the Chargers' season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs at SoFi Stadium.
Honoring high school senior student-athletes who not only showcase excellence on the football field but demonstrate a commitment to making a positive impact in their communities through leadership, service and dedication, the prestigious award – in addition to recognition – also comes with a $2,500 scholarship for each student-athlete.
"On a summer evening in August 2017, LaDainian Tomlinson gave one of the greatest induction speeches in the history of the Pro Football Hall of Fame," said President of Football Operations John Spanos. "If you've heard it, you understand why this award bears his name. For everyone who hasn't, it's worth a listen. Coming from one of the most iconic figures in Chargers history as well as one of the most transcendent players the NFL has ever seen, LaDainian's words were the embodiment of true leadership and an ideal to which future generations should aspire. The recipients of this award surely will have chosen 'to be for one another' both on and off the field, and it is only fitting LaDainian has been chosen as this award's namesake."
Nominations for the award will be reviewed by the NFF-LA Chapter, an organization founded in 1947 with a mission to promote and develop amateur football while cultivating leadership, sportsmanship and academic excellence. Scholar-athletes must maintain, at a minimum, a cumulative 3.2 GPA, achieve recognition in All-League, All-City or All-CIF and actively participate in community service.
"I am truly honored to have this award named on my behalf," said Tomlinson. "Being recognized in this manner is a testament to the values of sportsmanship, leadership and community impact that I hold dear. I believe in the power of young athletes to make a positive difference, and I'm excited to see this award inspire and recognize those who not only excel on the field but also contribute meaningfully to their communities."
A committee comprised of Tomlinson, Spanos, Chargers Director of Football Development Zac Emde, and Chargers Impact Fund board member and Chargers Legend Larry English will carefully evaluate all finalists and help select the winners. The 2023 finalists will be celebrated at the Chargers-Chiefs game on January 7, with the two winners announced at the NFF-LA Chapter end-of-year banquet held at SoFi Stadium in March.
For more information on Chargers youth football development programs, visit www.chargers.com/community.
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