Film Crew to Document Life of Jonesboro Man Killed in D-Day Invasion

JANUARY 12, 2007 - Posted at 7:36 a.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - Jonesboro High School has long been known around the state for its storied basketball tradition.  The Golden Hurricane has won a number of state championships over the years, and the program has produced a multitude of star players.

But one of those players is known for more than just his heroics on the hardwood.  Gene Sellars was an All-State player on the JHS teams that won state titles in 1940 and 1942.  The '42 squad even went undefeated.

But in that particular era, it wasn't quite as common for a high school basketball star to go on to a stellar athletic career in college.  After Sellars graduated from JHS, he, like many other young men his age, enlisted in the U.S. Army and soon found himself battling the Nazis in Europe, as the second World War raged on across the globe.

Sellars' young life was cut short a few years later on the sands of the beaches at Normandy.  In fact, he is believed to be one of, if not the first American soldier to be killed in the allied D-Day invasion.

An independent film crew is due in Jonesboro this afternoon to begin documenting the life of Gene Sellars.  The crew will begin shooting this afternoon, and will also be on hand to shoot tonight's JHS basketball game with Mountain Home.

The documentary is to be shown at the new D-Day visitor's center that is being built in Normandy, France.