The Northern California men pay homage to recently departed teammate David Curtis each and every time they take the court.
© Kent Horner
By Sarah Gulbrandsen, special to USTA.com
From Edgewater Park, Calif., the USTA Northern California 18 & Over 4.5 men’s team has overcome the tragic loss of their teammate, David Curtis, 50 years old, to make it to the 2013 USTA League National Championships for the first time.
Curtis suffered a severe stroke in May 2013 while working construction, leaving behind his wife of seven years, Margaret.
“He was dedicated to his wonderful wife and team,” said team captain Marcus Williams.
Despite Curtis’ death, the team decided to press on, knowing that is what he would have wanted.
“We stayed with it for him, we are playing for him, we did not give up because he wouldn't want that,” Williams said.
While physically Curtis may not be here, the team carries his spirit with them. Teammate Ed Keyani believes he has been instrumental on the court to this day.
“Today we have been winning close matches,” Keyani said after Day 1 of the 4.5 Nationals. “The opponent had been dominating in the point but then something un-explanatory and spiritual happened. It was as if Curtis was saying to me that he was with us and that we could still despite being down in the game.”
That was Curtis’ way. He was known for his competitive spirit and bright personality.
“He was a steely competitor, he had these beautiful blue eyes, that you knew by looking at him that he was a super fair and nice guy. He would look down his opponent ready for anything,” said Williams. “He was an all-around great guy that you would love to know.”
His doubles partner David Meacham was a friend for 12 years, and the duo went undefeated last year – their last season together.
“My most memorable matches were with David Curtis,” Meacham said. “He was a great man. We will never forget him, ever. Even today I am playing with his racquets and using his bag. This way I know that he is with me. It has been tough for me playing with multiple partners this year; they are great, but I really do miss Dave.”
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