More than 120 high school students from across the tri-state area got a chance to impress college tennis coaches and learn about the wide range of playing opportunities after graduation at USTA Eastern’s 24th Annual College Showcase Day.
The Showcase Day, which was held Nov. 7, 2010 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, featured on-court drills for juniors, a tournament for seniors and special seminars for students and parents about preparing for college tennis. Seniors also met with coaches from more than 60 colleges from across the country.
“Many high school students are strong tennis players, but don’t know where they can play college tennis or receive financial aid,” said Julie Bliss, Director of Competition and Player Development for USTA Eastern. “The Showcase Day allowed them to attract the attention of college coaches, and learn about the wide range of opportunities to play the sport after graduation.”
Michael Wallace, a senior at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, said the Showcase Day was very helpful as he looks to continue playing the game he loves in college.
“It helped me because I didn’t know the college process,” said Wallace, “but now I clearly know it.”
Some of the colleges were new to the Showcase, including Bucknell University and Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute. But other schools, like Muhlenberg College, have been going for years.
Jeff Schmitt, the men's tennis coach at Muhlenberg, said the event is a great opportunity to reconnect with players they are recruiting and meet new potential players. For those interested in playing college tennis, his advice was simple: start early looking at schools and meeting coaches.
“The earlier you contact the coach, and the more you get in the loop with that coach or coaches, the better off you will be as far as the recruiting process,” said Schmitt.
When they were not learning about the college tennis process or playing tennis, the students watched some of the top college tennis players in the country compete at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. They also learned about ESMZone.com, a new interactive website that promotes community service and character development among young athletes.
All of the coaches receive profiles of the players after the event.