Young players show they skills at scholarship tryout event
Tennis stars John McEnroe & Patrick McEnroe hosted young tennis players at scholarship tryout in Harlem
Johnny Mac Tennis Project held tryout for fall scholarships to John McEnroe Tennis Academy at SPORTIME Randall’s Island; Last year’s scholarship winner, 10-year-old Joshua Bey, cheered on this year’s hopefuls
HARLEM, NYC—Friday, August 24, 2018— John McEnroe, SPORTIME, and the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) hosted a tryout Thursday morning for children ages 6 to 14 interested in attending the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) training program at the SPORTIME Randall’s Island tennis center.
The tryout took place at Harlem’s Frederick Johnson Playground Tennis Courts at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Boulevard @ West 150th Street, home to its own popular summer recreational tennis programs. Watching and cheering on the young players was ten-year-old Joshua Bey, who won a scholarship to JMTA at last year’s tryout. Joshua’s family lives within blocks of the park, and his mother and father, who came out for today’s event, spoke highly of their son’s experience at JMTA this past year.
Youngsters from SPORTIME Randall’s Island’s neighboring communities, including East Harlem and the South Bronx, were encouraged to attend and many turned out to display their tennis and athletic prowess. Players participated in tennis and athletic drills and games designed by SPORTIME/JMTA coaches to assess capacities such as speed, strength, agility and hand-eye coordination.
“My brother and I are NYC natives," said Patrick McEnroe, "To be able to expose young people in our City to this great sport, and to give them a chance to use tennis as a vehicle to improve their lives, is a true privilege."
JMTA Co-Tennis Director Lawrence Kleger said, “We want to engage young, athletic, talented children and introduce them to the world of tennis with the intention of fostering long-term participation. We want to reward these kids’ hard work while nurturing their talent. These scholarships serve as a reminder for the kids that the JMTP and JMTA are as committed to them as they are to the sport of tennis.”
Mike Jacobs, co-director of Fredrick Johnson Playground’s popular free summer community tennis program affiliated with Columbia University, said, “Tennis gives the kids motivation and focus, and it teaches them to think analytically, and sharpens decision making skills. It prepares them well for life. We love working with SPORTIME and the Johnny Mac Tennis Project, which is giving the really talented kids a great option.”
Also present this morning was local NY State Assemblyman Al Taylor, who praised the local tennis program and SPORTIME and JMTP’s support of tennis at the community level.
JMTA coaches evaluated participants with an eye toward tennis skill level, athleticism and enthusiasm for the sport. A JMTP scholarship to attend JMTA, which will be awarded once coaches have compared data gathered at the tryout, will cover group sessions, individual instruction, training camps, integral performance training and mental toughness workshops, as well as convenient transportation to SPORTIME Randall's Island.
Since JMTP’s founding in 2012, over 5,000 East Harlem and South Bronx youth living in the communities adjacent to Randall's Island have enjoyed the sport of tennis through free, school-based, programs offered at the SPORTIME/JMTA facility. In addition, JMTP and SPORTIME have awarded over 250 scholarships to children who live in those communities, many of whom were introduced to the sport through JMTP programming, as well as to others throughout the city.
A non-profit based at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, JMTP was created to remove social and economic barriers to tennis participation for NYC kids, and to bridge the gap between introductory community-based programs and advanced tennis training for talented and committed players. JMTP provides a pathway to success through tennis, often leading to college scholarships, careers in the industry and, for a few, professional tennis careers.
The program is supported by donations, as well as by events like this coming weekend's Johnny Mac Tennis Project Pro-Am at SPORTIME Amagansett. On Saturday, August 25th, John and Patrick McEnroe will be joined by all-time greats Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, and other former pros including Andrea Jaeger and Ashley Harkleroad, at the nonprofit's fourth annual fundraising event at SPORTIME Amagansett, at 320 Abrahams Path, Town of East Hampton.
About the Johnny Mac Tennis Project
The Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) changes young lives by removing the economic and social barriers to success through tennis. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, JMTP introduces the sport of tennis as a life-long health, fitness and social activity to thousands of under-resourced New York City area kids, particularly those living in East Harlem and the South Bronx, two communities adjacent to JMTP’s home at SPORTIME Randall’s Island. For a smaller group of dedicated young athletes, JMTP provides a pathway to success through competitive tennis, leading to college scholarships, careers in the industry, and, for a few, professional tennis careers and, perhaps, Grand Slam titles.
SPORTIME is proud to operate the finest tennis facilities in New York State, with over 150 indoor and outdoor courts at 13 clubs across Long Island, in NYC, in Westchester and in the NY Capital Region. SPORTIME's clubs are state-of-the-art, yet affordable, and feature the best tennis facilities and programs, along with great gyms, camps and sports and fitness offerings. SPORTIME is proud to be the home of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at Randall’s Island since 2010, with JMTA locations at Syosset/Bethpage, Long Island, and Lake Isle, Eastchester, since 2012, and at Amagansett, Long Island, since 2015.
About the John McEnroe Tennis Academy
In September 2010, tennis legend John McEnroe and SPORTIME partnered to launch the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in John’s hometown of New York City, at the SPORTIME’s flagship Randall's Island Tennis Center in Manhattan. JMTA subsequently expanded its geographic reach to SPORTIME locations in Westchester and on Long Island: SPORTIME Lake Isle, an 8-court, state-of-the art, year-round facility in Eastchester, New York in lower Westchester; and SPORTIME Syosset in central Long Island, an 11-court indoor facility, that has long served as SPORTIME's high performance training center on Long Island, and, most recently, SPORTIME Amagansett, a 33-court outdoor country club.
John's passion and belief is that great players can be developed in urban settings, while still having the opportunity to live at home, pursue their educational goals, and participate in a variety of sports and extra-curricular activities. The Academy works to recruit the most talented and the most highly motivated young athletes in the New York Metropolitan area and beyond. Inspired by the vision of Johnny Mac, JMTA delivers a complete training program designed to assure the best possible outcome for serious players; whether for junior tournament players, future and current collegiate stars, or for those seeking to play on, or currently playing on the ATP, WTA and ITF tours.
1. John McEnroe and Academy coaches watch young contender at John McEnroe Tennis Academy 2018 Harlem tennis scholarship tryouts
2. Khallid Bey (Harlem resident and father of ten-year-old 2017 John McEnroe Tennis Academy scholarship winner Joshua Bey), John McEnroe, Joshua Bey, Patrick McEnroe and Harlem NY State Assembly Member Al Taylor at JMTA 2018 scholarship tryouts
3. Young player celebrates a great shot with Patrick McEnroe
4. Young player vies for John McEnroe Tennis Academy Scholarship at Harlem’s Fredrick Johnson Playground courts
5. John McEnroe and young players in Harlem for John McEnroe Tennis Academy scholarship tryouts
6. 2017 John McEnroe Tennis Academy scholarship winner -- and current McEnroe Academy player – Josh Bey, with parents Khallid and Tamika Bey, and former tennis instructors Reggie Satterfield [black shirt] and Mike Jacobs [yellow shirt].
7. Patrick McEnroe and young player meet on the court after a completed drill
8. Young tennis players confer over the net at tryout for John McEnroe Tennis Academy in Harlem’s Fredrick Johnson Park
9. John McEnroe Tennis Academy tennis balls ready for use at 2018 JMTA scholarship tryouts in Harlem