Super Bowl MVP quarterback Drew Brees will be the guest speaker at this year's annual Times Free Press Best of Preps awards banquet on May 24.
Brees, who began his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers, led the New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl title after the 2009 NFL season. He has been elected to five Pro Bowls while also being named 2004 Comeback Player of the Year, 2006 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, 2008 NFL Offensive Player of the Year and 2010 AP Male Athlete of the Year and Sportsman of the Year.
"We are excited to continue the tradition of bringing world-class athletes to Chattanooga," Times Free Press president Jason Taylor said. "This event continues to be an incredible way to recognize the outstanding talent in our area high schools.
"Drew Brees is a tremendous role model and it's our pleasure to bring him to Chattanooga to share his story with the Best of Preps athletes and audience."
The Best of Preps banquet will be held at the Chattanooga Convention Center. All the details and ticket information can be found at www.timesfreepress.com.
A native of Austin, Texas, Brees lettered in football, basketball and baseball at Westlake High School. The football team went 16-0 and won the 5A state championship his senior year, 1996, and Brees was named the Texas 5A offensive player of the year.
He went on to star at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., where he received a bachelor's degree in industrial management from the prestigious Krannert School of Management. A two-time Heisman Trophy finalist, Brees led the Boilermakers to the 2000 Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl appearance. He won the Maxwell Award as the nation's top collegiate player that year and also was named the Academic All-American Player of the Year and received a National Football Foundation's postgraduate scholarship.
Brees also is well-known for community service. He and his wife, Brittany, established the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 to help advance cancer research and care for cancer patients and to help rebuild schools, parks, playgrounds and athletic fields in and around New Orleans, San Diego and West Lafayette.
"Drew Brees is a true champion and has transcended sports in New Orleans," Times Free Press sports editor Jay Greeson said. "The word 'hero' is often overused in sports, but Drew and his family and his charitable foundation have been truly heroic in their efforts to help the city of New Orleans in the months and years after the hurricanes."