"The main reason that Native American children look up to Bears rookie Levi Horn has little to do with the fact that the 6-foot-6 offensive tackle towers over them.
To the kids, Horn is much more than a pro football player. He’s one of them—a Native American who is part of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, which is based in southeast Montana. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Tuff Harris is believed to be the only other Native American currently in the NFL.
Horn, who spent three days speaking to wide-eyed kids on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana earlier this month, enjoys being viewed as a role model.
“I really like it,” said Horn, who was raised solely by his mother. “My mom got an education, but when I was a kid I really didn’t [have an adult male role model] and I didn’t get to see any athletes. I didn’t even know of any athletes that were Native American. It’s nice to be somebody for a little kid and help them.”
Horn grew up in Spoke, Wash., with his mother, brother and sister. A star tight end at Rogers High School, he initially attended Oregon. But after an offensive scheme change and a switch from tight end to tackle, Horn transferred to Montana, where he started 24 of 40 games played in four seasons.
During his recent trip to the Fort Belknap Reservation, Horn spoke at several schools and was the guest of honor at a tailgate celebration. His main message centered around encouraging the children not to let obstacles keep them from achieving their objectives in life."
Get the Story:
Bears rookie Horn proud of Native American heritage
Cherokee and Cheyenne
football players drafted to NFL