American football star Drew Brees has been named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine for leading his team to a Super Bowl championship and for his charitable endeavors off the field.
The 31-year-old Brees, who plays for the National Football League's (NFL) New Orleans Saints in Louisiana, helped lift up a city devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when the Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts to win their first Super Bowl title last February.
The charismatic quarterback was named the Most Valuable Player of that game but has also made a difference with his charitable work.
Brees, a Texas native, established The Brees Dream Foundation with his wife, which helps in cancer research and provides "care, education and opportunities for children in need." The foundation has helped raise more than $6 million, primarily in and around New Orleans.
Brees is the fifth NFL quarterback to win Sportsman of the Year honors and the third in six years. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was the most recent, winning the Sports Illustrated award in 2007.
Brees spent five seasons with the San Diego Chargers in California from 2001-2005.
The Saints are currently in second place in their division with an 8-3 record.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.