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LeBron James named SI Sportsman of the Year

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Miami Heat superstar LeBron James has been named Sports Illustrated's 2012 Sportsman of the Year.

The award is presented annually to the person or team who transcended the year in both athletic performance and character.

James finally became an NBA champion this past spring, leading the Heat to a victory over Oklahoma City in the finals, then helped Team USA to a gold medal at the London Olympics in the summer. He was also the NBA's MVP for a third time, as well as the NBA Finals MVP.

In addition to his on-court excellence, James was chosen for his philanthropic efforts in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

James is the first pro basketball player to be honored by the magazine since teammate Dwyane Wade in 2006.

Last year's winners were Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.

12/03 10:53:08 ET