Hall of Fame - Athlete Category
Israel attended Vincent Massey High School in Brandon, and, though he had never really played football, Massey Coach Kevin Grindey convinced him to play when the school restarted its nine-man football program in 1997 -- when Idonije was in grade 12. He actually preferred basketball, and dreamed of being the next Michael Jordan. In football he was a defensive end and even carried the ball a bit. He went on to play for the University of Manitoba Bisons and was signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free-agent after the East-West Bowl Game in 2003. After an injury in Cleveland, he was released and signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears, where he played for 10 years until 2012, and then one year with Detroit Lions. Israel is involved with many community activities and has set up a Foundation supporting many charities and organizations in Chicago, Winnipeg and West Africa. He has created “The Protectors” comic book. Israel was awarded the Order of Manitoba in May of 2014.