Introducing Justin Abdelkader – The Newest Milk Means More Professional Athlete!
Michigan native. National hockey champion. Childhood literacy advocate. Chocolate milk drinker. These are just a few descriptors for the newest member of the Milk Means More professional athlete team, Justin Abdelkader.
Justin, who grew up near Muskegon and graduated from Mona Shores High School, had a dream to play hockey for his home state team. Through determination and the support and guidance of coaches, family and friends, Justin has made that dream come true. He now plays left wing and is alternate captain for the Detroit Red Wings.
In his partnership with Milk Means More, Justin will promote the importance of eating a healthy diet and that includes milk. As an athlete and proud new dad, Justin knows the importance of good nutrition to fuel his star performance and to help all kids grow and thrive.
“When I train and compete, I expend a lot of energy whether that be on the ice or in the weight room and I need something to help recover properly and better prepare me for my next workout,” Justin said. “With the right balance of protein and carbohydrate to repair and refuel, chocolate milk has scientifically proven results. But it is part of my plan because it is delicious.”
Justin’s interest in nutrition goes beyond his own recovery. As a Milk Means More professional athlete, Abdelkader will help carry the message to students throughout Michigan. “Everyone knows my passion is reading and kids cannot learn without good nutrition. Partnering these two messages just makes sense.”
Justin encourages Michigan elementary students to read outside the classroom through the Red Wings for Reading program, now in its sixth successful year. This program encourages all kindergarten through fifth grade students in Michigan to read (or have someone read to them) three or more books for their grade level, as selected by Justin. At every Red Wings home game, Justin hosts Abby’s All Stars for an elementary school student and a guest, who are selected from submissions to Red Wings for Reading.
The newest addition to the reading list may be a book written by Justin himself, “Shoot for the Goal: The Justin Abdelkader Story,” published in late 2018. This book tells Justin’s journey from a young boy who loved hockey to playing for a championship professional team.