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Stalvey Game a Success

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Former ACC and SEC stars graciously took part in a worthy south Georgia fundraiser to honor a fallen American hero.

It's humbling for me. These guys put their lives on the line.
~Ben Troupe

Former college and professional athletes from around the southeast gathered last Friday night at the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick for the 2nd annual "Cpl. John Stalvey Celebrity Basketball Game". In a contest between a local team consisting of men's and women's players from CCGA, along with ESPN Coastal Georgia personalities, and the celebrity squad, the locals prevailed 103-98 in overtime. Funds were raised for the Cpl. John Stalvey Foundation and Jekyll Island's Warrior's Weekend.

Stalvey was killed in Afghanistan in 2005 while serving as a Marine scout sniper overseas. The south Georgia-native, just 22 years old, was a true outdoorsman and a passionate sports fan. Today his mother Crystal, brother Matt and sister Cristen pay tribute to his legacy through the foundation bearing his name. The non-profit hosts numerous events throughout the year to collect resources for military families in need. This past weekend, accomplished and celebrated athletes joined the cause out on the hardwood.     

The celebrity team, coached by the number one pick in the 1966 NBA Draft Cazzie Russell, featured a number of Florida Gator superstars. Former UF first-team All-Americans Lito Sheppard (2000) and Ben Troupe (2003) joined Terence Barber, Brian Crum and Travis Taylor by participating in the event. Crum won a national championship at Florida in 2006. Taylor, the Orange Bowl MVP in 1999, won Super Bowl XXXV with the Baltimore Ravens. Sheppard, Taylor and Troupe were each top 40 selections in the NFL Draft.

"It's humbling for me. These guys put their lives on the line," Troupe said of supporting the military. 

Other players included Georgia's Tyson Browning, Georgia Tech's Joe Burns and former Harlem Globetrotter Ty Randolph. Philadelphia 76ers center Kwame Brown was in attendance at the event in his hometown. Brown, like Russell, was taken first overall at the start of his NBA career. Brown was the draft's top pick in 2001. 

RELATED: Savannah TV's Frank Sulkowksi on the Event publisher and area ESPN Radio personality B.J. Bennett coached the local team. Southern Pigskin editor Matt Osborne played and scored six points in the victory. At halftime, the Stalvey family was presented with a celebrity team signed ball. In conjunction with Jekyll Island, Southern Pigskin will now help host the Rodney Atkins America's Heroes Celebration this upcoming weekend, August 17-18th.