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John Collins launches season-long salute to service

Atlanta Hawks v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Atlanta Hawks star forward John Collins will honor 800 local veterans by hosting them across 20 Hawks games this season. 40 veterans from the greater Atlanta area will attend each of the 20 games and receive complimentary tickets, transportation and a signature shirt from Collins’ The Baptist Collection clothing brand, the Hawks announced on Thursday.

Collins, with the support of Sharecare, will provide tickets to 800 veterans in the Atlanta area in the new ‘Baptist Battalion’ section at State Farm Arena this season. The Baptist Battalion will seat the first 40 veterans on Monday, Nov. 15, when the Hawks take on the Orlando Magic.

The fifth-year forward, who is the son of two veterans, offered a statement on the salute to service.

“I have seen the sacrifice our veterans make on a daily basis and it’s important to me to do what I can to make sure they know their service is appreciated,” Collins said. “I’m honored to be able to thank them in this small way for all they have done and continue to do for our country.”

Collins was raised by two veterans who served the United States Armed Forces for more than 42 years combined. His mother, Lyria Rising-Collins, served more than 22 years in the Air Force, while his father, John Collins Jr., served 20 years in the Navy.

Collins is enjoying a fantastic start to the 2021-22 season on the court, averaging 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and a career best of 2.3 assists in 31.1 minutes per game this season.