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Tillman brothers to receive Ashe Award  

Brothers Pat and Kevin Tillman, who in the midst of professional sports careers chose to serve their country by enlisting in the Army, have been named recipients of the 11th annual Arthur Ashe Courage Award, to be given Wed., July 16 during the live ESPY Awards telecast on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET. The award, presented annually to individuals whose contributions transcend sports, will be accepted by Richard Tillman, Pat and Kevin's younger brother, at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, site of the ESPY Awards.

Pat Tillman
Former Arizona Cardinals safety, Pat Tillman, along with his brother Kevin will receive the Author Ashe Courage Award for choosing the U.S. army over pro sports.
In addition, Pat and Kevin's parents, Pat, Sr. and Mary, as well as other family members will be in attendance. Thurs., July 10, 2003, would have been Arthur Ashe's 60th birthday.

Pat Tillman played four seasons for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals as a safety after starring at Arizona State University. In May of 2002, Pat announced his intentions to join the Army, turning down a $3.6 million contract offer in the process. Both he and his brother Kevin, a former minor league baseball prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization, committed to three-year military terms, landing spots with the elite U.S. Army Rangers. The two served in the Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. One of the most notable aspects of the Tillmans' story, which will be portrayed as part of the ESPY Awards telecast, is the fact that the brothers have decided to decline all of the countless requests over the last year to tell their story publicly. They've remained quiet and in turn, have chosen not to take part in the ESPY Awards. The tribute piece during the show will mark the first time that family and friends have decided to speak about Pat and Kevin's situation.

"The Tillman brothers' story is remarkably inspiring," said Ron Semiao, senior vice president, ESPN Original Entertainment. "They turned their backs on stardom and potential fortune, dedicated themselves to a larger cause and never once sought glory or recognition. Pat and Kevin's approach of leading by example is reminiscent of the way Arthur Ashe lived his life and like Arthur, the Tillmans' decisions have had a profound impact."

Last year, The Arthur Ashe Courage Award honored Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick, four passengers who lost their lives September 11 on United Flight 93. Previous recipients include: Jim Valvano (1993), Steve Palermo (1994) Howard Cosell (1995), Loretta Claiborne (1996), Muhammad Ali (1997), Dean Smith (1998), Billie Jean King (1999), Dave Sanders (2000) and Cathy Freeman (2001).

The ESPY Awards will air on ESPN live from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre on July 16 at 9 p.m. ET.

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