NEW YORK (AP) – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year on Monday, a year after the Boston Red Sox became the first major pro sports team to receive the award.

The last Boston-area athletes to receive it in consecutive years were Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox in 1967 and Bill Russell of the Celtics in 1968.

Brady has led the Patriots to three Super Bowl championships in four years and was named MVP of the first two victories.

“Tom Brady is the consummate winner,” Sports Illustrated managing editor Terry McDonell said.

“Against the steepest odds and on the grandest stage, he refuses to believe his team can be beaten. That character extends to his teammates and his fans.”

The issue will appear on newsstands Wednesday.

“It’s certainly a well-deserved honor and, to me, I would just add maybe person of the year,”‘ Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday. “His makeup, his character and the way he carries himself on and off the field, in and out of football, is, I think, exemplary in all phases.”

The last pro football player to receive the award was Joe Montana of San Francisco in 1990.


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