Each year, the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning hosts the NYJTL Hartman Cup, which celebrates the end of the facility’s Early Morning Winter Community Tennis Program.
The tournament is held in honor Louis H. Hartman, grandfather of NYJTL founder and friend of Arthur Ashe, Skip Hartman. As a child, Louis contracted polio but would not let that prevent him from living his live, remaining physically active and competing in varsity tennis in college despite wearing a leg brace.
His determination and perseverance are traits that still continue to inspire today’s youth, and his legacy lives on through the NYJTL programming, most notably through the annual Hartman Cup.
“Lou Hartman was more than a grandfather to me—he was a role model,” said Skip Hartman. “He worked hard, was generous and loyal to his friends and those he worked with. He served his country after World War I, excelled in sports, and was a pioneer in the 20th century advertising industry.
The young people and their parents who attend the NYJTL winter weekend early morning programs are up at dawn for 20 weeks during cold winter months to play tennis and be with friends. Each of them is following in Lou Hartman’s footsteps. Frankly, I am in awe of them, proud to tell them Lou Hartman’s story, and hope it inspires them to keep it up.”
The Hartman Cup included young players from all across New York City and from various clubs and facilities. The competitors demonstrated both their talents and sportsmanship throughout the tournament, resulting in eight winners across the multiple divisions:
►Boys 12s: Ian Remor, Roosevelt Island Racquet Club
►Girls 12s: Akari Wientzen, Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club
►Boys 14s: Aaron Tokarz, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
►Girls 14s: Evelin Perez, Cary Leeds Center
►Boys 16s: Taye Macellin, Cunningham Tennis Center
►Girls 16s: Mercie Ortiz, Cary Leeds Center
►Boys 18s: Aaron Wong, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
►Girls 18s: Naysa Joseph-Gabriel, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
With another successful winter program and Hartman Cup in the books, Skip Hartman says he is incredibly proud of how far NYJTL has come over the last half century.
“When I started with NYJTL in 1970, I never envisioned what it has become,” he said. “Growing community programs from just summer in parks to year round in schools, public housing projects, indoor clubs, after school sport and academic programs, and then to the creation of the Cary Leeds Center. It’s truly incredible and a tribute to the beauty of the sport of tennis. Back then I simply knew what positive impact tennis had on my personal development and career. That so many have participated and benefitted from the sport is a fabulous, unintended consequence.”