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USTA League News

Missouri Valley’s Mothers and Daughters

October 29, 2011 03:16 PM
Kathy Blackim with daughers Jamie & Jodie and Janet Chambers with daugher Nicole Yoak, all members of the Missouri Valley women's team competing at the 4.5 Adult Nationals.
Youngest daughter Jodie Blackim in action at the 2011 USTA League 4.5 Adult National Championships in Tucson, Ariz.
By Matt Birch, Special to USTA.com

Tucson, Ariz. --- Each of the teams competing at this weekend’s USTA League 4.5 Adult National Championships share unique bonds and have strong camaraderie within their teams. The ladies representing the Missouri Valley section probably have the strongest bonds of all, featuring two sets of mothers and daughters on the roster.

Kathy Blackim got her three daughters involved in tennis when they were young at the Indian Springs Country Club in their hometown of Broken Arrow, Okla. This weekend, Kathy and her two youngest daughters, Jamie and Jodie are teammates competing for a National Championship.

In addition to playing on this USTA League team, Jamie and Jodie also compete on their school’s tennis teams. Jamie is currently a senior on the women’s tennis team at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. She transferred to Washburn after competing at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kan. While at Cowley, she was named the Junior College national winner of the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, and was one of ten collegiate athletes honored at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the US Open.

Jodie is currently a senior at Broken Arrow High School where she competes on both the volleyball and tennis teams.
"It’s nice having my mom and sister support me whenever I play a match," Jodie said. "It’s a built in cheering section, and knowing that I have that with me wherever I go is nice."

Janet Chambers and her daughter Nicole Yoak also compete on the Missouri Valley women’s team.

Janet explained that she got Nicole started in tennis when she was ten years old, and eventually took up the sport herself after seeing how much Nicole enjoyed it.

Janet and Nicole have now been playing together on the same team for the past three years, and Janet discussed what it means to her to be teammates with her daughter.

"This has been a lot of fun," she said. "We’re best friends too, and playing at Nationals together is something that I never dreamed of."

Nicole played on her school’s tennis teams in high school and also played in college at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla.

"I think this is a really cool experience that not a lot of people get to do," Nicole said. "When you grow up and move out, you sometimes don’t have a lot to do with your parents, but this has been a really fun activity for us to spend time together and keep up that close bond that we have always had. A mother and daughter relationship is one thing that has a certain closeness, and being teammates on top of that makes it even more special."
Click here for more stoires from the 2011 USTA League National Championships.


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