It was the second year that the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education group traveled down to Atlanta, GA to have some fun and compete in the American Tennis Association’s (ATA) National Tournament. It was a time to expand educational goals and historic knowledge, but most importantly, a time to perform on the court.
Kenny Holdsman, president of Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education, said the trip was about more than just competing in a tournament.
“The kids also got to visit colleges, do some community service work, and experience different historical landmarks around the city,” Holdsman explained.
The group of 22 kids visited the neighborhood where Dr. Martin Luther King grew up, the Morehouse and Spellman Colleges, and the CNN news center. In addition, the kids made time to help sort, package and ship more than 500 books for the “Books for Africa” community service project.
Along with the group of young players that set out to compete in Atlanta, the coaches picked up their rackets and competed in the tournament as well.
On court, Arsenio Culver and Julian Sullivan, both alums of AAYTE programming and current staff, won the Men’s Open Doubles.
Tauheed Browning won both boys 10’s singles and doubles with his partner Marcel Mordecai. Both boys participate in our Future Stars program. Marcel Mordecai finished in 4th place in the boys 10 and under.
Nadiyah Browning, another Future Star, came in 3rd place for girls 14 and under category.
Christina Kaiser finished in 2nd place in the girls 16 and under category.
Rodney Cherry finished in 6th place in boys 16 and under and he also won the Sportsmanship Award.
The recent trip down to Atlanta, GA., sparked some interest within Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education. The group is now proposing to bring the tournament to the City of Brotherly Love. Although nothing has been confirmed yet, the ATA tournament is looking for a new city to host the national tennis tournament, and with a rich history and numerous independent landmarks, Philadelphia is sure to be one of the top candidates.