Usually it's after the spring semi-annual meeting (which is in mid-March this year) before there's an official announcement about the USTA's Bill Talbert Sportsmanship award winners for the previous year, but the word tends to leak out here and there, with the recipients having been notified in January. I ran across the names in the March issue of Racquet Sports Industry (scroll about halfway down). Marcia Frost also has a column on the rise of doubles, and while I think of it, if you missed my Tennis Recruiting Network story about the Grips Program, a similar version can be found in last month's issue of RSI.
This is the most prestigious sportsmanship award in junior tennis, with the winners being invited to July's International Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Newport, Rhode Island. This year's inductees are Monica Seles, Donald Dell, Andres Gimeno and Dr. Robert Johnson.
Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Efferding, of Lake Worth, Fla. is the youngest of the four winners, which include two of the three winners of the sportsmanship trophies here in Kalamazoo in 2008--Nashville's Ryan Lipman, who won the Wes Richards Feed-In Sportsmanship award, and Studio City Calif.'s Ryan Thacher, who was named the Allen B. Stowe Sportsmanship award winner. (The third 2008 sportsmanship winner in Kalamazoo, Evan King, who received the Bobby Kaplan award for the 16s, was a Talbert award recipient last year). I'm not familiar with Gary Wang of the Middle States section, but for a photo of him from his section's 2008 awards banquet, click here.
The promotion that originally started as a Madison Square Garden exhibition with the Williams sisters, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic on Monday, March 2nd, has grown into something quite a bit bigger: "Tennis Night in America." Many clubs across the country will be hosting screening parties for the exhibition, while also undertaking a concerted push to register youngsters for spring and summer tennis programs. Here's an example of one in Wake County, North Carolina. To find the participating clubs in your area, click here.
Friday, February 27, 2009