Eight boys and girls ranging in age from 7-16 were introduced this week as winners of full or partial scholarships to the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA). Each were among approximately 170 participants ages 6-17 in an open tryout on July 21, and the eight were honored on-court on Wednesday night during the World TeamTennis matchup between the New York Sportimes and Washington Kastles at Sportime Randall’s Island.
The eight winners were: Cameron Daniels, Oakland Gardens, 15, N.Y.; Diane McCready, 11, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Leonte Wilder, 11, Plainfield, N.J.; Sean Wei, 12, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; Natalie Eordekian, 7, Woodside, N.Y.; Palmer Clare, 16, North Bellmore, N.Y.; Tomas Kopczynski, 12, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; and Amber O’Dell, 11, Chesterfield, Mich. In all, 23 semi-finalists advanced to an afternoon session at the tryout, from which the winners were selected.
“These eight boys and girls showed a great deal of potential and positive, winning attitude,” said McEnroe. “I was pleased with how much talent and competitive spirit we saw at the tryout, and my Academy staff and I are looking forward to working with these exceptional young athletes to maximize their abilities.”
The JMTA, expanding with annexes on Long Island and in Westchester to open in September 2012, continues to draw a wide range of talented young people from all walks of life who are interested in learning tennis from its Hall of Fame namesake and from the elite team of JMTA coaches that have been assembled. The third annual session of the Academy will begin in September.
The day-long tryout was held at the JMTA Flagship location, Sportime Randall’s Island, with young players between the ages of 6 and 17 having worked out for JMTA coaches. McEnroe observed and evaluated the players in the second opportunity for young players to participate in open tryouts for spots in the JMTA. In July 2010, over 300 young people participated in try-outs, with five boys and seven girls awarded full or partial scholarships to the JMTA.
Founded in 2010 at Sportime Randall’s Island, the John McEnroe Tennis Academy provides tennis training to many of NY’s best and highest ranked junior players. Full and partial scholarships are available for qualified and promising young players who could not otherwise afford JMTA participation. JMTA corporate partners Nike and Dunlop provide JMTA students with equipment and apparel for their use, both at the Academy and in tournament play. Lawrence Kleger supervises a team of over 30 instructors, including Associate Academy Director and former ATP player player, Fritz Buehning, former top 100 WTA players Hana Sromova and Martina Sucha, and Assistant Academy Directors Karim Balagh, Bruce Haddad and Nate Emge. John McEnroe is routinely involved in the daily program at Randall’s Island, personally supervising and training staff and coaching and inspiring young players. The Academy’s first two years of operation at Randall’s Island exceeded expectations, with over 400 aspiring future champions enrolled.