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LeBron James wins AP Male Athlete of the Year

LeBron James adds to the trophy case, winning the AP Male Athlete of the Year. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

LeBron James(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Miami Heat forward LeBron James was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday.

In 2013, James won his second NBA championship and a fourth NBA Most Valuable Player award.

James is only the third basketball player to win the award that has been given out since 1931. Michael Jordan and Larry Bird are the only other NBA players to win the award.

James received 31 of 96 votes in the polling, beating Peyton Manning and Jimmie Johnson.

"I'm chasing something and it's bigger than me as a basketball player," James told the AP. "I believe my calling is much higher than being a basketball player. I can inspire people. Youth is huge to me. If I can get kids to look at me as a role model, as a leader, a superhero ... those things mean so much, and that's what I think I was built for. I was put here for this lovely game of basketball, but I don't think this is the biggest role that I'm going to have."

This season, James is having another outstanding season, averaging 25.2 points a game along with 6.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists and is also shooting a career-high 59 percent.

VIDEO: Heat’s Dwyane Wade goes off-the-glass to LeBron James for the lefty dunk