| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Eric Vitale


Eastern Metro Region supports Delete Blood Cancer
Credit all photos to Eric Vitale
The USTA Eastern Metro Region was happy to support the Delete Blood Cancer Second Annual “Game, Set, Match for Life” tennis event at Sportime Randall's Island in February. Attendees helped raise enough funds to register more than 300 new potential bone marrow donors. Many thanks to all who supported, competed and attended. They could not have done it without you! For more information, visit DeleteBloodCancer.org.






Metro Region at the USTA Eastern Annual Awards Dinner

USTA Eastern Metro Region board members, volunteers and members from the local tennis community


The George Seewagen Award winner Andre Sinclair smiles for a photo


Award winners from the Prospect Park Special Aces program: Winston Ramsay, Susan Campbell and Paul Campbell


USTA Eastern Metro Region Volunteer of the Year Barry Sonustun and USTA Eastern Community Service Award winner Bill Noonan with members of the Metro Region board


USTA Eastern Metro board member Jason Speirs (left), with Metro Region President Jackie Clark (right), receives the USPTA Tennis Pro of the Year Award


Leslie J. Fitzgibbon Tennis Man of the Year Dante Brown (center) accepts his award


Metro Region awards four Junior Team Tennis Scholarships
Over the summer, the USTA Eastern Metro Region board was proud to award four Metro Junior Team Tennis Scholarships. All applicants had to demonstrate academic success and strong leadership and character. They were required to write an essay on how playing USTA tennis has made an impact on their life and they had to get a recommendation from a teacher or a coach. Here are the winners of the Metro JTT Scholarships:

Anu Alalade
University at Buffalo ♦ Major: Pharmacy

“As both a tournament and a team tennis player in the USTA, more than anything else, the sport has taught me the values of teamwork, cooperation, civility, self-discipline, endurance, honesty and integrity. I have discovered that all of these are essential values promoted by the USTA. I have also learned how not to take anything too seriously, realizing that, in any competition and in life, there will always be winners and losers, but what matters most is the takeaway one obtains from losing, while enjoying winning when one is recorded. Furthermore, as a tennis player and a young coach who believes in giving back by teaching tennis to kids I currently volunteer at the tennis club that first introduced me to tennis, the Youth and Tennis Inc., where I coach children between ages four and 16 on Sundays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. I have also had the honor of teaching tennis strokes and donating balls and racquets to kids in my father’s native Nigeria, where I have traveled in my dad’s company, volunteering and helping to feed and care for kids in orphanages over the last two summers.”


Amina Durkovic
Stony Brook University ♦ Major: Astronomy/Physics

“USTA tennis will always remain an immense piece of who I am. All of the lessons that I learned playing USTA tennis taught me not just how to deal with life itself, but how to use a pivotal ideology of the scientific method: Using my mind for the better of myself, as well as my society. Tennis is so much more than a sport; playing at the USTA will always be a memory that I will hold dear to me. When I started playing Metro Junior Team tennis, I learned the true value of sportsmanship. I practiced match play along with amazing coaches. I am a stronger person for playing a sport at one of the most distinguished facilities in athletic history and am truly grateful for all of the opportunities I had. I will take the wisdom that I learned here and apply it to my future scientific practice as well as my individual growth for eternity. It was through the USTA where I began dreaming of becoming the next Serena Williams and winning Wimbledon. As I grew older, however, my life took an academic turn and I fell in love with astrophysics. Although quite different in scope, USTA tennis in particular is where I am applying the lessons that I learned for my growth as a future astrophysicist.”


Zorriana Johnson
Manhattan College ♦ Major: Mechanical Engineering

“Being an injured athlete was stressful, both mentally and physically. However, through the hardships I faced, I was able to appreciate my body as an athlete more. Moreover, through those six months, I matured into a more independent young woman because of the adversity I overcame. I am able to look back and not regret a single decision I made throughout the entire process. This experience has made me into a better athlete and a better person, because I never realized how much I took the life I lived and the activities I did for granted. However, after all the work I have done in order to get it back to 100 percent health, it seems that no matter how tedious my work will be, whether it's for sports, college or life, I find myself to be at ease. In my opinion, I have truly been on like a roller-coaster ride. But as I look at all the mentors and coaches that have taught me for the past 12 years and the teammates I practice with, I am truly proud and blessed to be a part of something great. Each individual I have met at the programs has helped me to learn, grow and mature more into a better person and better athlete, and push me to aspire to become the best Zorriana Johnson possible. Through all of my experiences and the maturity I have acquired, I can honestly say that I never regret any moment in my life because these programs have taught me that each moment we have in life should be lived to the fullest.”


Andreas Nolan
University of Pennsylvania ♦ Major: Psychology

“The aforementioned collaborative and individual approaches to tennis have undoubtedly been instilled in me through playing as a part of the USTA, particularly through being a member of the Harlem Tree’ers in Junior Team Tennis (JTT). The team atmosphere provided an interactive forum for support and strategizing, while matches allowed for personal action. Through being a member of the team for three years, I’ve effectively learned the ability to balance group collaboration with individual competition in a way that transcends a tennis setting and instead impacts my life as a whole. Schoolwork necessitates the perfect combination of these two values, which was certainly developed through my participation in JTT. Since I plan to enter the field of education in the future, these skills prove even more vital, as a teacher or administrator must be able to facilitate discussions between students and peers, as well as lead lessons and projects. Ultimately, playing USTA tennis has taught me to love the challenge that comes with solving a problem with constantly changing variables, and has equipped me with the resilience to do so.”