'Court'ing New Talent: A New Generation of College Students Has Been Steadily Changing the Character and Face of Intercollegiate Tennis in America

By Stuart, Reginald | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, April 10, 2014 | Go to article overview

'Court'ing New Talent: A New Generation of College Students Has Been Steadily Changing the Character and Face of Intercollegiate Tennis in America


Stuart, Reginald, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

When Salif Kante graduated from Florida ASM University (FAMU) in 2013, he was at the top of his game as a tennis athlete. He came to FAMU from Georgia Perimeter College ranked as the No. 1 junior college tennis player in the nation, and only added to his awards and honors over the two years he played for the institution, including being named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

"He was a gentle giant," recalls Carl B. Goodman, FAMU's head coach of men's tennis, referring to Kante, a 6-foot-5 public relations major who excelled on the courts and in the classroom. "He was one of the most talented players and nicest people ever."

Today, Kante, a native of Senegal, is embarking on a career as a professional tennis player, hoping his performance will incite as much excitement as the late Arthur Ashe did in his professional career following his intercollegiate tennis career at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Just as Ashe helped change the intercollegiate and professional tennis world, Kante is part of a new generation of college students who have been steadily changing the character and face of intercollegiate tennis in America.

Today, international students make up nearly 50 percent of all American college varsity tennis players, according to unofficial estimates by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the national governing body for the sport of tennis. A majority of those students are Hispanic or European.

African-Americans make up between 10 to 20 percent of the remaining players, according to USTA estimates. They are as likely to be playing at a historically White college or university as they are at a HBCU as both groups of institutions scramble for the best talent they can find.

"I think if you have the ability, the opportunities are there," says Larry Strickland, Howard University's mens and women's tennis coach.

"I still bring in bright Black students," Strickland adds, referring to the increasingly tough competition for talent. However, he admits that "it's getting tough" as more top Black students are recruited by top schools, leaving other institutions with more open spots for international candidates.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"I just have to work harder," Strickland says. "It's forcing us to look at international students."

The day-after-day talent search comes after several years of college tennis programs, especially those for men, being shut down at some institutions. College tennis is also seeking to attract a new generation of young people to the sport.

"I believe tennis is growing," says Jean Desdunes, USTA senior director of diversity and inclusion. "[Although] probably not as fast as we would love to say, [tennis] is not going backward as some other sports are."

Though college tennis is a respected sport, it has never drawn the crowds and dollars of college football and basketball. It also lacks the media attention that football and basketball receive. It has enjoyed less sustained surges in popularity, especially among people of color, despite the star appeal of numerous tennis players over the decades, including Venus and Serena Williams.

Still, tennis has a niche in intercollegiate sports that is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

Reinventing the game

To alleviate these challenges, college tennis is methodically reinventing itself. To help boost the interest of youngsters, colleges and campus tennis clubs are working with the USTA, focusing on grassroots training and development of young talent with emphasis on quality of training over quantity. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

'Court'ing New Talent: A New Generation of College Students Has Been Steadily Changing the Character and Face of Intercollegiate Tennis in America
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.