The Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) and Platinum, Inc. announced today that Platinum, Inc. has donated a four-year scholarship through the JMTP Sponsored Scholarship Program. Through the program, individual or institutional donors sponsor a young tennis aspirant who would otherwise lack the financial capability to fully develop his or her tennis potential, leading to lifelong opportunity. Donors work with JMTP leadership to set the selection criteria for their named scholarship, and receive regular updates on their player’s progress.
Scholarship recipients will train exclusively with world-class coaches at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA). All sponsored scholarships provide for the year-round on- and off-court training necessary for a child to play and compete at a higher level. The Platinum, Inc. Scholarship has been awarded to Lara Afolayanka. Lara, a 14 year old female from Uniondale, NY, exhibits undeniable athletic potential, mental toughness, and desire to be the best she can be both on and off the court. “Lara is a special young adult who has grown so much as a tennis player in the last few years, and I cannot wait to see how much more she grows with the support she is receiving from Platinum,” said Patrick McEnroe, President of JMTP.
“At Platinum, we are strong believers in the impact that sports can have on youth, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the Johnny Mac Tennis Project,” said Jim Halpin, CEO of Platinum. “I have had the opportunity to meet Lara and watch her train and I was completely blown away. We look forward to supporting Lara over the next four years and helping her reach her goal of playing Division 1 college tennis.”
Lara’s father immigrated to the United States from Nigeria. Lara was awarded a scholarship to the Academy based on her athletic potential during tryouts and has since flourished from a tennis standpoint. Currently ranked 57 in the nation in her class by Tennis Recruiting, Lara regularly qualifies for national tournaments in her age division. She is balancing being a nationally ranked player and the associated travel demands with wanting to remain a top student in school. This scholarship will help Lara prepare to compete nationally and capture the attention of college coaches.
“Lara has exceptional athletic abilities. She is probably the fastest player in our Academy, male or female, any age, and is quite explosive in her movement around the court,” said Perry Aitchison, Lara’s coach. “A recent growth spurt shows she will be a tall player, and her athleticism has suffered little during the spurt. She has an aggressive, heavy topspin forehand weapon, and the serve is developing into a weapon to set that shot up.”
For more information on the JMTP Sponsored Scholarship Program, please visit: https://www.jmtpny.org/donate--support.html.