from school reports
The Meridian Star
Another group of extraordinary student-athletes from college varsity tennis programs across the country were honored for their service and leadership over the weekend.
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. National Leadership and Sportsmanship Awards are given annually to collegiate students who have shown great achievements o and off the court. A select group of accomplished student-athletes have been honored in this way since 1982. Ashe himself inaugurated the award and personally made the presentations until his tragic passing in 1993.
For the past 20 years, former NYC mayor David Dinkins has given out these prestigious awards.
Meridian Community College women's tennis star Tara-Beth Hall received the award Saturday at the ceremony. As a Pre-Vet major, Tara-Beth carried a GPA of 3.87, earning her President's list scholar honors and induction into the National Two-Year Honor Society. She also served as the President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter for the past two years. Tara-Beth was also actively involved in her community, volunteering with the Special Olympics, the Salvation Army, Laurie's Kids (a benefit for special needs children), and Love's Kitchen, a local soup kitchen for the homeless.
The award takes into account a player's tennis accomplishments, scholastic achievements and extracurricular endeavors, and recognizes players who excelled on and off the court as Ashe did during his life. Sportsmanship, leadership and character are important criteria, as is giving back to the community.
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. National Leadership and Sportsmanship Awards honors outstanding individuals in all collegiate tennis divisions at the regional and national level, including NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO men's and women's players.
The 2013 ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. National Leadership and Sportsmanship Awards will be given out Saturday and the national winners were honored during a special ceremony hosted by the USTA during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day inside Ashe Stadium.
The following day, the award winners are invited to a special luncheon honoring winners of the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) Arthur Ashe Essay Contest. One of Arthur Ashe's many legacies is a network of youth-serving organizations that provide tennis and education for all. His wish was for the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) to be a resource for kids to develop skills for leadership and academic excellence.