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Brees To be Honored with Prestigious Iba Award

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    <span>The Rotary Club of Tulsa announced today that Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been named the 2009 male recipient of the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award.  

Brees and a female recipient will trek to Tulsa to be honored at the 16th annual Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards, scheduled June 15 at the Renaissance Hotel.

The Iba Awards, created by the Rotary Club of Tulsa and named in honor of a former Oklahoma State and U.S. Olympic basketball coach, are given to recognize athletes who excel in their sport and who show by their actions a desire to help others.

Brees was chosen the NFL's offensive MVP by the Associated Press last season, when he became the second player in league history to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a season. He finished 15 yards shy of the league record Dan Marino set in 1984.

"The only reason I still even think about (the record) is because I know how much it would have meant to the offensive line and the skill position guys," Brees said after winning the AP award.

"Those guys were 10 times more upset than I was about not getting the record. I just feel like they really, especially down the stretch, looked at that as something that, for all the heartache and all the ups and downs we had this season, that was something they hang their hats on.

"So that's who I wanted to get it for, so that's why I'm still upset. I'm over it, for myself, but I guess I'm not over it for them."

The Saints did not reach the playoffs, but Brees led the NFL in attempts, completions and touchdown passes despite injuries to Marques Colston, Reggie Bush and Jeremy Shockey.

Brees, a former NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award recipient, has taken an active role in helping New Orleans rebound from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He staged a "Cocktails for Katrina" fundraiser to benefit the NFL's Youth Education Town and to rebuild a football facility used by several area high school teams.

Brees' Iba-worthy body of work also includes renovating a transportation van for Children's Hospital, donating funds to youth and high school football programs, sponsoring the Drew Brees Gridiron Classic for youth teams, landscaping an area middle school, participating in a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway and hosting an annual charity golf tournament through the Brees Dream Foundation that distributes money to children's causes in New Orleans and San Diego.

Brees is the ninth NFL player honored with an Iba Award, joining Peyton Manning, Mark Rypien, Chris Zorich, Eugene Robinson, Warrick Dunn, Will Shields, Drew Bledsoe and Derrick Brooks.

Other male Iba recipients were John Starks, Karl Malone, Bryce Drew, Dikembe Mutombo, Tom Lehman, Ozzie Smith and Chris Paul.

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