J.J. Watt, Jose Altuve named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson Of The Year

Their contributions struck deep in the heart of Texas ― and beyond.

Sports Illustrated named Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve as its Sportsperson of the Year on Monday for helping the city of Houston rise from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

The honor celebrates athletes for on-field and humanitarian achievements.

"It's more than just two people," Watt told host Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show" Monday. "It's a whole city."

Watt's 2017 season was cut short by a leg injury but his contributions to storm-ravaged Houston will long be remembered. The three-time NFL defensive player of the year raised more than $37 million for the city to rise from its devastation.

Stranded in a Dallas hotel room in August by the storm, Watt started a relief fund on a YouCaring.com page. "I honestly didn't know if we could reach $200,000," he told Fallon.

See other recipients of the honor:

Recent Sports Illustrated Sportspeople of the Year honorees
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Recent Sports Illustrated Sportspeople of the Year honorees

2017: JJ Watt

(Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

2017: Jose Altuve

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

2016: LeBron James

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

2015: Serena Williams

(Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

2014: Madison Bumgarner

(Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

2013: Peyton Manning

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

2012: LeBron James

(Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

2011: Pat Summitt

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

2011: Mike Krzyzewski

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

2010: Drew Brees

(Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)

2009: Derek Jeter

(Photo by Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images)

2008: Michael Phelps

(Photo by Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

2007: Brett Favre

(Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)

2006: Dwyane Wade

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

2005: Tom Brady

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

2004: The Boston Red Sox

(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

2003: Tim Duncan and David Robinson

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

2002: Lance Armstrong

(Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

2001: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling

(Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

2000: Tiger Woods

(Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR Photo Archive)


The 5-foot-6 Altuve, the American League MVP, played a big role in galvanizing the city in the storm's aftermath by helping the Astros win their first World Series title.

"The city of Houston has treated me really good," he told Sports Illustrated. "I felt at that time that I owed them something. So when they were having a hard time, I wanted to give something back to them."

The pair will officially accept the honor Tuesday night during an awards ceremony at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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