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2021 Community Champions: Valencia Xu, Patrick Toman receive Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award
WATCH: Profile on Valencia Xu (see below for Patrick Toman)
On Dec. 8, the USTA's Celebrating Community Champions virtual ceremony honored 2021 award-winners in a variety of service-based categories. During the event, each honoree received a surprise virtual call from a tennis legend as a thank-you for their contributions to growing the game of tennis both locally and nationally.
Valencia Xu (Livingston, N.J.) and Patrick Toman (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) are the winners of the 2021 USTA Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award, presented by Rajeev Ram on Wednesday.
Xu, 18, is a 2021 graduate of Livingston High School and freshman at Stanford University, where she is a member of the women’s tennis team. She was one of the top-ranked players in the USTA Eastern section and earned the section’s sportsmanship award in 2018. Xu served as a founding member on USTA Eastern’s New Jersey Region Junior Council, one of eight members from throughout the state who committed themselves to helping increase awareness of tennis as a healthy, safe, fun option for physical activity in their local communities.
Toman, 17, is a high school senior and currently rated as a four-star recruit. He has won numerous sportsmanship awards throughout his junior career that's spanned USTA Northern California section events to USTA national junior tournaments. He is the leader of his high school tennis team and spends his free time offering tennis lessons to classmates.
“Both of these student-athletes are incredible individuals on and off the tennis court,” said Craig Morris, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “They give back to their community, mentor younger athletes and are great role models. Valencia and Patrick epitomize what great sportsmanship is all about and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for both of them.”
Each award winner must be a junior player who exemplifies the finest qualities of sportsmanship in tournament play as well as one who maintains the finest traditions of the great sportsmen/women of tennis, past and present. The award is given in honor of 1967 Hall of Famer Bill Talbert, who was highly regarded for his high standards of sportsmanship.
WATCH: Profile on Patrick Toman
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