Favre Named 2007 U.S. Sports Academy Male Athlete of the Year

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DAPHNE, Ala. - Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre and Belgian tennis star Justine Henin were named the 2007 United States Sports Academy Male and Female Athletes of the Year after a worldwide online vote presented by USATODAY.com and MSNBC.com.

Favre, who is having one of his best NFL seasons, has led the Packers to a 12-3 record and a first round bye in the playoffs. This season he broke Dan Marino's NFL record for career passing yards (61,405), career touchdown passes (440 and counting) and Marino's NFL record for most career passes. Favre continues to add to his NFL record 252 consecutive games played (272 counting playoffs.) The 38-year-old Favre has engineered 38 fourth-quarter rallies in his career.

Henin was named Academy Female Athlete of the Year after completing a year in which she lost only four of 67 singles matches. She won 10 tournament titles in 2007 including two majors, making the 25-year-old Belgian the first player since Martina Hingis in 1997 to record double-digit victories in a season. Henin became the first woman to pass $5 million in season earnings.

American golf star Tiger Woods finished in second in the men's voting while New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finished in third-place. American tennis player Venus Williams took second in the women's voting just ahead of American swimmer Natalie Coughlin who took third place.

The ballot was open to voting from 1-25 December. Overall, the ballot received hundreds of thousands of votes from sports fans around the globe. The Academy Athlete of the Year presented by USATODAY.com and MSNBC.com is the culmination of the Academy's yearlong Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in sports around the globe.

To view results from the Academy Athlete of the Year, please visit http://www.usatoday.com/sports/front.htm, http://athleteoftheyear.msnbc.com or http://www.ussa.edu/aoy/index.asp.

In 2006, as the leading overall vote-getter tennis sensation Roger Federer repeated as the Male Athlete of the Year. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova received the most votes in the women's category, earning the 2006 Female Athlete of the Year honor. Federer and Sharapova were presented their awards on center court at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

*USATODAY.com is an award-winning news and information website that is updated 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Each month, millions of unique monthly visitors access USATODAY.com News, Money, Sports, Life, Technology, Weather and Travel sections, which combine the best of USA TODAY news and information and the latest breaking news with cutting-edge interactive features, information graphics and multimedia functions including audio, video and live webcasts. USATODAY.com is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI). For more information, visit www.usatoday.com.

MSNBC.com is the exclusive online channel for the NBC Universal News family, which includes the Today show, NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC, Meet the Press and MSNBC TV. MSNBC.com provides the optimal consumer experience, presenting a diverse range of original content and the best from partners in a rich multi-media environment that includes interactive features and free streaming video, allowing users to access the news and information they want, when they want it, 24 hours a day. Based in Redmond, Wash., MSNBC.com is a joint venture of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and NBC Universal, a division of General Electric (NYSE:GE).

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.

For more information about the United States Sports Academy, "America's Sports University," call 251-626-3303 or visit the Academy's website www.ussa.edu.*

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