Watt and Altuve - the co-recipients of this year's Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year honors - played inspiring roles in Houston's recovery following the enormous damage and catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey this summer. The Sixers' big man even makes Watt, the Texans' 6-foot-5, 295-pound defensive end, look like a normal-sized human being. He finished the year with 11 tackles and two passes defensed, but more important, raised more than $37 million in Hurricane Harvey relief aid. Get the app and get the game.
"Throughout this decision-making process, what mattered to me most was ensuring that the entirety of the funds would be utilized here in Houston and the surrounding areas for those who were affected most by Hurricane Harvey", Watt said in his press statement.
Sports Illustrated presented the Houston heroes with the award at a special ceremony held at Barclays Center in New York Monday night. More than 200,000 people donated to the campaign before Watt closed the donation phase and moved to distributing the money. "But what other event can bring a million-plus people together and provide a platform, however ephemeral, to cast aside the differences that drive so many of us to sports in the first place?" "They didn't necessarily know anybody personally, but they just wanted to help and I think it was just really cool to see". He read a letter Altuve wrote him shortly after the Astros won their first World Series title. Championships don't save communities, and we should be careful to assign too much weight to their powers of healing. "That's why every time I go to Houston, I do everything I can to help my city".
In Sports Illustrated's release, they explained Watt and Altuve's impact on the city of Houston.