ITA Leadership Awards Weekend Opens Friday in New York

TEMPE, Ariz. (August 20) - The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) will honor 13 current and former college tennis players during the 2019 Leadership Awards Weekend later this week (August 23-25) in New York.

The 10 ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winners, 2019 NCAA Division I Male and Female Players of the Year and recipient of the ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award Endowed by Billie Jean King will be recognized and participate in a full schedule of activities.

The weekend serves as a prelude to the start of the 2019 US Open main draw that begins Monday, August 26, at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium.

Highlights of the weekend include participation in the Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and an awards banquet inside the Empire State Building on Saturday before concluding with a community service event at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis in the Bronx on Sunday.

The ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. The award is presented annually to NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO men’s and women’s players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.

The 2019 honorees include:

NCAA Division I Men - Isaac Perez (Air Force Academy) NCAA Division I Women - Sophie Whittle (Gonzaga) NCAA Division II Men - Robin Möller (Georgia College) NCAA Division II Women - Paola Carpio (St. Edward’s University) NCAA Division III Men - Julian Gordy (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) NCAA Division II Women - Mary Hill (Whitman College) NAIA Men - Grant Esposito (Indiana Wesleyan University) NAIA Women - Lizzie Bauss (Indiana Wesleyan University) Junior College Men - Colten Way (Iowa Central Community College) Junior College Women - Maddie Mitchell (Santa Barbara City College)

Nuno Borges, who concluded a standout All-American career at Mississippi State University last spring, is the 2019 NCAA Division I Male National Player of the Year, while University of Georgia sophomore Katarina Jokic is the NCAA Division I Female National Player of the Year. The honor is given to the top-ranked male and female in the season’s final Oracle ITA National Rankings.

Duquesne University’s senior men’s tennis player Andrew “Drew” Akins is the 2019 winner of the ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award Endowed by Billie Jean King. The award was created in 2018 to honor a recent college graduate who played college tennis and demonstrated excellence on and off the court, leadership on his or her team and campus and in his or her community.

The ITA will return to New York on Sept. 7 when it presents internationally renowned business executive Doug Conant with the 2019 ITA David A Benjamin Achievement Award.


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