CHATTANOOGA (WRCB/TFP) - One of the biggest names in professional sports is coming to Chattanooga for the annual Times Free Press Best of Preps banquet which recognizes area high school athletes and coaches.

The newspaper made the announcement on Sunday. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV when the Saints won their first world championship, will be the featured speaker at the event on May 24 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Ticket details can be found at

The Best of Preps banquet has hosted Olympic record-holder Michael Phelps and championship tennis sisters Venus and Serena Williams in the previous two years.

"We are excited to continue the tradition of bringing world-class athletes to Chattanooga," Times Free Press president Jason Taylor said.

"Drew Brees is a tremendous role model and it's our pleasure to bring him to Chattanooga to share his story with the Best of Preps athletes and audience."

A native of Austin, Texas, Brees lettered in football, basketball and baseball at Westlake High School. The football team went 16-0 and won the 5A state championship his senior year, 1996, and Brees was named the Texas 5A offensive player of the year.

He went on to star at Purdue University and become a Heisman Trophy finalist twice. Brees led the Boilermakers to the 2000 Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl appearance. He won the Maxwell Award as the nation's top collegiate player that year.

Brees is also well known for his community service. He and his wife, Brittany, established the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 to help advance cancer research and care for cancer patients and to help rebuild schools, parks, playgrounds and athletic fields in and around New Orleans, San Diego, and West Lafayette.

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