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Former Rep. Tom McMillen named to fitness foundation

Tom McMillen, the former Maryland basketball star who served three terms in the House of Representatives, will chair a new congressionally chartered foundation focused on fitness and nutrition, Obama administration officials said Tuesday.

McMillen, a star for the Terrapins who went on to play professionally from 1975 to 1986, will lead the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition at a time when the White House – and particularly first lady Michelle Obama – have tried to raise awareness about childhood obesity.

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The Crofton Democrat, who is 58, represented Anne Arundel County and parts of Prince George's County in Congress from 1987 through 1992. The foundation, which was created by legislation authored by Rep. John Sarbanes, will seek private funding for the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

"We are facing a national youth health crisis, with one in three kids obese or overweight," Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat, said in a statement. "The creation of this foundation will give the [council] the ability to leverage private funding to expand its scope and activities and promote physical fitness and sports programs across the county."

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius named the board members at an event on Capitol Hill Tuesday. The nine-member governing board will also include Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and NBC sports analyst Cris Collinsworth.

McMillen previously served on the Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under President Clinton but was forced to step down in 1997 after federal agents raided a Washington-based health management company that he led. McMillen was not charged and nothing came of that investigation.

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