USTA Honors 2023 National Grassroots Tennis Award Winners
March 6, 2023
ORLANDO, Fla., March. 6, 2023 – The USTA announced its 2023 national awards recipients honored for their dedication and contributions to growing the sport of tennis both locally and nationwide. The seven awards were bestowed at the 2023 USTA Annual Meeting & Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.
“We are proud to celebrate these outstanding individuals and organizations for their ongoing efforts to help grow the game of tennis across the country,” said Craig Morris, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “From adaptive tennis and stellar leadership to volunteers and community outreach in under-served communities, each awardee has truly made a difference in their communities through their passion and commitment. We applaud all of you for this well-deserved recognition.”
The award winners are listed below:
Adaptive Tennis Award – Blind and Visually Impaired Tennis of Highland Park (Pittsburgh) Blind and Visually Impaired Tennis of Highland Park and its program lead, Dana Costa, were honored with the USTA National Adaptive Tennis Community Service Award. The USTA annually bestows this recognition upon a program or program leader that has demonstrated continued excellence, dedication and service in tennis for an adaptive tennis community.
Barbara Williams Service Award – Pam Sloan (Stockton, Calif.) Pam Sloan of Stockton, Calif. was honored with the Barbara Williams Service Award. Sloan has more than three decades of experience in the tennis industry and has played a crucial role in growing the game in both the Missouri Valley and NorCal sections. Established in 2003, this award recognizes a female volunteer who, through her leadership and by her example, has encouraged and inspired others to become volunteers and assume leadership roles at the community, section and/or national levers of the USTA.
Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award – Nicholas Chen (Oakland, Calif.) The Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award is presented each year by the USTA and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The award was bestowed to Nicholas Chen for exemplifying the finest qualities of sportsmanship in junior tournament play as well as one who maintains the finest traditions of the great sportsmen and women of tennis, past and present.
League Volunteer Award – Bonnie Vandegrift (Asheville, N.C.) Bonnie Vandegrift, of the USTA Southern section, received the USTA League Volunteer Award for her leadership and contributions to the growth and enhancement of USTA Leagues, both in her section and nationally.
NJTL of the Year Award – First Serve – New Mexico (Santa Fe, N.M.) First Serve – New Mexico was honored with the NJTL of the Year Award. Each year, the USTA bestows the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) of the Year Award to chapters that positively impact youth through the powerful combination of tennis and education. Supported by the USTA Foundation through financial grants, scholarship opportunities, curricula, technical assistance and training, the NJTL network provides free or low-cost tennis and education programming to more than 160,000 under-resourced youth nationwide.
Outstanding Featured Facility Award – Edmond Center Court (Edmond, Okla.) Edmond Center Court was named the Featured Facility of the Year, the highest honor bestowed by the USTA on a tennis facility. Edmond Center Court was one of the 33 winners in the annual USTA Outstanding Facility Awards program, which recognizes excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities throughout the country.
National Junior Scholar Athlete – Sophia Wang (St. Petersburg, Fla.) & Masato Perera (Santa Barbara, Calif.) Sophia Wang and Masato Perera were named recipients of the USTA National Junior Scholar Athlete Award, honoring high school tennis players who best demonstrate that tennis is the sport of opportunity for education, advancement and character development. To qualify, students must have an unweighted GPA of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale, and be ranked in the Top 100 of the USTA Boys’ or Girls’ 18s national standings. A written essay, as well as leadership and sportsmanship, were also considered.