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College Sports Television will pay tribute to the U.S. armed forces with “From Ballfields to Battlefields,” a documentary about student-athletes who have served their country during times of war that will premiere on American Forces Network on Saturday, July 3.

The documentary will air in Europe at 7:30 a.m. Saturday on AFN-Sports and 8:30 p.m. Saturday on AFN-Pacific.

“From Ballfields to Battlefields is part of “Sports and Stripes: CSTV’s Salute to the Armed Forces,” the network’s July 2-4 tribute to servicemembers comprising athletic events featuring service academies, features on athletes from Army, Navy and Air Force, and greetings from servicemembers deployed to Iraq to their families and friends. Much of the programming will be available on AFN.

““From Ballfields to Battlefields” is CSTV’s way of honoring the legacy of [former NFL player killed in Iraq] Pat Tillman and other student-athletes who have put their lives on the line,” CSTV President and CEO Brian Bedol said in a news release. “The attributes that make these college athletes successful on the ball field — teamwork, discipline and loyalty — are what make them exemplary on the battlefield.”

Among those profiled:

¶ Nile Kinnick, the 1939 Heisman Trophy-winning halfback from Iowa who joined the Naval Air Corps reserve after college and was killed in 1943 when his fighter plane crashed during a World War II training flight.

¶ Matt Sheftic, the University of Vermont basketball player who enrolled in the Army a week after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant and after graduating from college and is expected to be deployed in Afghanistan later this year.

¶ Bob Johnson and Cortez Watson. Johnson, who has more than 300 wins as the men’s basketball coach at Emory and Henry College in Virginia, was a Ranger platoon leader with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. Watson, who plays for Johnson, enrolled in the National Guard at college and was sent to Iraq in 2003. He has since returned to the States and will resume his college athletic career in the fall.

¶ Tillman, the former Arizona State football star and Arizona Cardinals safety who was killed in April while serving in Afghanistan.

¶ Hobey Baker, the captain of his Princeton hockey and football teams and World War I hero who was killed in an airplane crash in 1918, just before his scheduled return from Europe.

For more information: CSTV: www.collegesports.com; AFN: www.myafn.net.


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