© Jen Pottheiser
By Jeffrey Seals, USTA.com
One of New York’s finest has set aside his uniform, badge and firearm for a weekend of tennis in Las Vegas this weekend in hopes of helping his 4.0 men’s Eastern team take home the USTA League National Championship.
Daniel Calhoun, 39, is a 12-year veteran of the NYPD spending five years of service patrolling the streets of Brooklyn before transferring to the academy seven years ago. He has seen it all, but one of the most memorable events he used to work was the “West Indian Day Parade”.
“It got pretty chaotic,” noted Calhoun. “It is always held in Brooklyn and would bring together people from all the island nations, such as, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Brooklyn has a lot of gangs, so you had to worry more about them than the people coming to the parade.”
The biggest event he had to endure was being on the force during 9-11. “I was off that day, but I got called in. I was in my fourth year and had to report to command. It was chaotic. We were on standby until we had to go work street corners doing access work.”
Currently, he is a member of a unit in the academy that helps train officers that are on the verge of becoming sergeants and lieutenants. Working out of the academy affords him the time to be able to play tennis, as the normal patrol would make life too busy.
Calhoun has been an avid tennis player since the age of seven, as he was taught by his mother. He played at Queens College, an NCAA Division II school. His best year collegiately came during his senior campaign, as they were ranked 20th nationally and 5th in the east. He played #6 singles and #3 doubles.
“I just always kept going with tennis. I like the team aspect that the USTA provides.”
His wife, Maria, does not play, but the couple has two young children, Ethan (two) and Deanna (one), who may follow in dad’s footsteps. “I bought (Ethan) a racket and right now he is just messing around with it.”
Calhoun is no stranger to national competition, as he was a five-year member of an Eastern 4.0 squad that played in the 2006 USTA League Championships in Hawaii. His current team plays out of the Carefree Racquet and Health Club in Merrick, N.Y. This current concoction has three holdovers from his 4.0 team that participated in Hawaii.
In 2011, he will participate in the World Police and Fire Games in New York. The games will be comprised of all different countries. He is partnered with a fellow policeman who also works at Carefree and is a 5.0 level player.
The World Police & Fire Games are currently the second largest multi sport event in the world, surpassed only by the summer Olympics. Our goal is to make these games the largest, most memorable sporting event the world has ever seen.
Calhoun’s gift to opponents this weekend is the New York Police Department’s uniform patch.