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Sports Illustrated Kids: Sports Kid of the Year

THERE WERE 5,500entries; 10 finalists, as chosen by editors at SI KIDS; and one winner, aschosen by voters at Eight-year-old Derek Anderson of Williamsville,N.Y., is SportsKid of the Year. "It's so exciting," says Derek, whowill appear on the SI KIDS December cover. "My mom and dad are very proudof me, and I like making them proud."

Derek, named forYankees shortstop Derek Jeter, had already done that. Despite a musculardisorder that has weakened his back, causing fatigue and forcing him intophysical therapy four days a week, Derek, a third-grader at Harris HillElementary, plays five sports, standing out on a select hockey team and as anAll-Star third baseman. His community involvement was also a strongconsideration in his being named a finalist. In an essay contest for a localbank, Derek wrote that if he had a million dollars he'd help a children'shospital as well as elephants at the Buffalo Zoo. He spent the $64 first prizeon a magic show for kids he'd met at therapy. "I like to help otherkids," he says. "I am lucky."



ON HIGH Derek got a lift from the Bills at an SI KIDS shoot.