Sports Illustrated named Houston Texans and former Wisconsin Badgers defensive lineman J.J. Watt its 2017 Sportsperson of the Year, sharing the honor with Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.
The announcement came Monday night on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 5, 2017
The award has honored an athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement.
Watt’s foundation raised $37 million for Houston relief efforts after the impact Hurricane Harvey made on the city. Altuve earned baseball’s American League MVP award in 2017 and led the Houston Astros to their first World Series title in franchise history.
Watt missed the majority of the 2017 season, after sustaining a leg injury on Oct. 8. His 2016 season also ended early with a back injury.
The Texans drafted Watt in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin. While his last couple seasons on the field have been disappointments, he’s made a major impact when healthy, winning three Defensive Player of the Year awards.