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Phoenix school to be named after football star Pat Tillman

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix school district will pay tribute to former Arizona State University football star Pat Tillman by naming a campus after him.

Balsz Elementary School will become Pat Tillman Middle School, the district said in a note on its website.

An unveiling of the logo for the campus near 44th Street and McDowell Road was scheduled Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Tillman was killed in friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004. His family gave Balsz School District permission to use the family name in February.

“We are incredibly humbled by the fact that the Tillman family is allowing us to honor their son through the naming of our new school,” Jeffrey Smith, district superintendent, said Monday in a statement.

“Pat embodied everything it is that we want to instill in our students – bravery, patriotism, commitment, selflessness – and these fundamentals will very much be a part of the core culture at Pat Tillman Middle School.”

Tillman turned his back on his professional football career with the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army after the 9/11 attacks.

The ASU standout was the first pro football player killed in the line of duty since 1970.

Tillman was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart medals.

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