CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Easy to forget when Ethan Anderson steps into the batter's box the first baseman arrived at Virginia ahead of schedule.

"Hey let's all remember this young man should be a freshman here," UVA head coach Brian O'Connor said, "He entered Virginia an entire year early. I'm excited for our team because of how much better he's gotten and he's going to have a long, long future in this game."

Anderson started 41 games last season when he should have been worried about high school prom. A year later, Anderson has started every game at first base and has been a mainstay in the Virginia lineup as the 5-hole hitter on a team preparing for a Super Regional against Duke at Disharoon Park.

"A lot of butterflies going on, never played in front of a stage this big even during midweeks and weekend series," Anderson said, "It's special playing here. I wanted to come here early, I wanted to live the UVA lifestyle."

New teams, new atmospheres were nothing new to Anderson, growing up watching his dad serve as a Navy SEAL for 27 years.

"What's toughest about that is the sacrifices that the family makes," Ethan's dad J.R. Anderson said, remembering a time when Ethan was between six and seven-years-old, "When I left that time he cried even more than I seen him cry the first time and so that's really tough the sacrifices they make not only deploying, but all the moving around."

Ethan and his sister Emma, a rising senior at James Madison now, grew up on the move as a military family.

"You learn to meet new people and you learn that family is the most important," Ethan said, "They're always there for you, especially when you're going around entering new environments where you don't know anyone."

While Virginia Beach is home, Anderson was born in Hawaii, but has lived across the globe. Ethan first tried played soccer when the family lived abroad, but can barely remember playing goalie. So J.R. went out and bought a tee and a tennis ball, giving Ethan his first baseball experience in Portugal. His mom, Amy, would later sign Ethan up to play baseball when J.R. was being deployed again.

"It was so important, especially when he was gone so much to keep the kids very busy and involved and just keep going," Amy Anderson said, "So they weren't thinking about their father and being sad."

"It's tee ball, I don't know how much you're learning, you're just kind of out there running around swinging the bat, hoping to make contact off a ball that's moving still," Ethan laughed, "Once [his dad] came home, that's when I got to play catch with him."

While J.R. only played at the high school level, Ethan took after his dad's approach to life something that has guided him to the elite levels of baseball.

"He's kind of a lot of the reasons why I do everything," Ethan said, "Seeing him every week, seeing him every day when he's up here it's special because I know there are family members that don't have that opportunity."

In the new age of college athletics, an All-ACC first baseman at UVA has plenty of NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) opportunities. But when Ethan was first handed a $2,000 check, he wanted to give back to those who helped his family over the years, the Navy SEAL Foundation.

"This NIL check, it's $2,000 to a college kid. And I said you got any plans for that?" J.R. remembers asking Ethan in the car one day, "And just looking straight-ahead just said I'll probably give it to the foundation."

The Navy SEAL Foundation provides critical support for the warriors, veterans, and families of Naval Special Warfare. For Ethan growing up the foundation helped with school and sending him to summer camps.

"I didn't think the money was as important going to me," Anderson said, "Where I wanted to donate to people that could use it for better uses."

Now 100 percent of Anderson's NIL money goes back to help SEALs and their families through the foundation. Anderson has partnered with Born Primitive clothing and Kill Cliff energy drink, who are also linked with the Navy SEAL Foundation.

J.R. and Amy are most proud of the example Ethan has set for SEAL kids everywhere.

"No matter what your passion is the tools that you get from having to move around," J.R. said, "Having to face, adversity might be a strong word, but new circumstances, new friends, new sports teams."

As O'Connor said Ethan has a "long, long" future ahead in baseball and Anderson hopes to show military kids chasing those dreams is possible.

"The constant traveling kind of takes a toll on sports and by the time they're growing up they don't have a stable place where they're able to pursue their college athletic career," Ethan said, "I hope I could influence younger kids kind of staying down that path."