Drew Brees was born in Dallas in 1979 and grew up in Austin, Texas. Playing sports was an integral part of his family’s life. Drew went to Westlake High School, where he earned letters in football, basketball and baseball. As the school’s quarterback his senior year in 1996, he led his team to a 16-0 record and the 5A State Championship. He earned the 5A Offensive Player of the Year that year as well.
Drew did not look like a regular quarterback, as he stood almost six foot tall and was very thin. But he knew the game and had a throwing arm that threw the ball with accuracy and force. All of this was accomplished though he had suffered a possible career-ending knee injury the end of his junior year.
One Sunday in the summer before that fantastic senior year, Drew was in church with his family. He heard something that day that changed his life. He had walked into church on crutches because of the torn ACL. He was seventeen years old and the thought crossed his mind about what he would do if he didn’t have football or some other sport in his life. He wondered what that would mean for the rest of his life.
The minister made an appeal to the congregation that morning. He said that God was looking for a few good men to work for Him and represent the Christian faith. Drew remembers thinking to himself that he would like to be one of those men.
Drew became a Christian that day. He had new resolve to let nothing stand in his way.
He finished his senior year with a 28-0 high school career record. He earned a scholarship to Purdue University, where he led the Boilermakers to the Rose Bowl in 2001. Drew was a two-time Heisman finalist, lettered all four years of his college career, and won other collegiate awards. In addition, he earned a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue.
After graduation Drew Brees was drafted by the San Diego Chargers, where he spent five seasons. At the end of the last season, he dislocated his throwing shoulder while trying to recover a fumble. This put his career in jeopardy again. He was given a twenty-five percent chance of being able to heal and return to playing. He could have easily given up with doubt and resignation. Instead, he remembered his commitment that day in church when he was in high school. He knew God had a plan for him. He just had to rely on that and believe God would see him through this stumbling block.
Drew fully recovered from the injury in two months. He then had to make a choice to move on to a new team, and he chose the New Orleans Saints. It was a losing team located in a city still reeling from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. He and his wife decided that they would be “part of something much greater than just being part of a team—they would be part of rebuilding a city.” That was in 2006, and four seasons later the New Orleans Saints were victors in the Super Bowl!
Drew Brees and his wife Brittany continue to give hope to New Orleans and the state of Louisiana through the creation of the Brees Dream Foundation. The foundation has committed over six million dollars to advance cancer research. It provides care for cancer patients and has helped restore what was lost in the hurricane damage. They have rebuilt schools, parks, playgrounds and athletic fields, not only in Louisiana, but also in San Diego and West Lafayette, Indiana.
Drew Brees has written a book, Coming Back Stronger--Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity. In it he tells of his journey, and emphasizes why he never gives up because he knows he is following God’s plan for his life.
Drew Brees has a platform to talk about his faith. He says, “I live for God, for the faith that I have in Him. Knowing the sacrifices that Jesus Christ made on the cross for me and feeling like it’s in God’s hands, all I have to do is just give my best, commit the rest to Him.” Drew knows God will take care of everything else.