Wade, 24, was the choice for his play in the NBA Finals last year against the Dallas Mavericks and for his nonprofit foundation that promotes social enrichment, education and physical fitness among youth, the magazine's editors said Monday.
"This award has always stood for more than the victory alone," Sports Illustrated Group Editor Terry McDonell said in a release. "It recognizes the manner of an athlete's striving and the quality of his or her efforts. Dwyane embodies that winning spirit by playing for his team, not himself, and by working in the community to ensure young people have the chance to realize their own dreams."
Wade is the fifth NBA player to be named SI Sportsman of the Year following Bill Russell (1968), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1985), Michael Jordan (1991) and Tim Duncan and David Robinson (2003). In addition, NBA player Rory Sparrow was selected one of eight Athletes Who Care in 1987.