Frazier, Geiger named to USTA Junior Leadership Team

May 01, 2017

Josie Frazier and Max Geiger have been named to the second USTA Junior Leadership Team, which recognizes the finest U.S. junior tennis players who exhibit leadership, sportsmanship and character on and off the court.

Frazier and Geoger are among 32 players nationwide named to the USTA Junior Leadership Team. Each player was nominated by his or her USTA section for excellence in tennis and in the community.

“These players truly are role models who exhibit character well beyond their years, both on the tennis court and in the community,” said Bill Mountford, the USTA’s Director of Junior Tournaments. “We’re happy to have a way to give them some of the recognition they truly deserve with the USTA Junior Leadership Team.”

Frazier, 16, a resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., has been ranked as the No. 3 16-and-under player in the USTA Southwest Section and near the Top 50 nationally. She’s been the sectional and state high school player of the year (2016) and was the State Division I high school champion in 2016, at Desert Mountain. She also owns a 4.3 GPA, volunteers for the USTA and the World Hunger and Education Action Task Force, along with the First Serve tennis charity for kids.

Geiger, also from Scottsdale, has been ranked as one of the Top 25 players in his age group in the USTA Southwest Section and is a two-time winner of the All City Athlete Award for tennis from the city of Scottsdale. He helped lead Desert Mountain to state Division I championships in 2015 and 2016 and also is a member of the school’s honor society, with a 4.3 GPA. He also volunteers at Gigi’s Playhouse, helping to run tennis clinics for special-needs kids, and the Scottsdale Senior Center, among other activities.

Each year, more than 120,000 players compete in USTA junior tournaments. Players compete in levels of competition through earned advancement in the 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s age divisions. USTA junior tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want – high school, college or pros – or just have fun competing.

In their own words...

Josie Frazier: In my life, there is one thing that affects all the decisions that I make. That thing is tennis. I have played tennis since I was five years old, and as I have gotten older, I have realized how much it has changed my life and changed me.

My love for tennis stemmed from my parents, but inevitably I fell in love with the sport, too. Although I love the sport itself, some of the main things that I love are the friendships I have made and the life lessons that I have learned.

In tennis, you are constantly competing – competing to win and competing to get better. Some people may not like the constant competition, but in my case, I find that it pushes me. While playing tennis, I have discovered that the people you are competing against are usually friends. Although everyone wants to win and become the best, I have learned that you still have to be sportsmanlike because, once you get off the court, you still want to have your friend. Along with wanting to keep your friends, having good sportsmanship also gives you a feeling of pride and accomplishment.

One time, when I was about eight years old, I was playing a tournament, and my opponent was very late to check in. The tournament director was about to default her, but I did not understand why we would have to do that. We knew she was on her way and we could play once she got to the site. I decided that I wanted to wait until she got there because I knew that it was just practice and that no matter the outcome, it would help to improve my game. Even though I eventually lost the match, I felt proud of myself. I understood that this was a one-time situation, and it was not bad sportsmanship to let your opponent get defaulted, but for me it sparked a desire to always have exemplary sportsmanship. Since then, I have won various sportsmanship awards, and I feel it has also helped me in my everyday life.

Through tennis, I have learned various things about my personality and what I enjoy. Tennis has helped me become a very motivated person to do the best I can at everything in my life. I constantly strive for all A's in my honors classes, and I have so far reached that goal. Also, it has taught me about the importance of having friends with the same goals and values as me. Most of my closest friends play tennis alongside me and continue to push me every day. Overall, tennis is the one thing I love to do the most. It has helped me in many ways and continues to play a major role in my life.

Max Geiger: I think that tennis has taught me some of the most important lessons I will ever learn. Through competing, I was able to really recognize the benefits of determination and never giving up. Being able to succeed after putting in hours of work, whether on the tennis court or in the classroom, is truly rewarding. Tennis has taught me that hard work and determination are essential to finding success in life. Another characteristic that tennis showed me how to exemplify is respect and good sportsmanship. It is very easy to lose your integrity on the court and act disrespectfully. After being in situations like those, it is obvious that being respectful is the best way to conduct yourself. These lessons have driven me to be respectful and honest, no matter the situation, and also to set an example for the younger players coming up through good sportsmanship.

Working with kids with Downs Syndrome really showed me how much impact happiness has on a person. It is also one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Next year as a senior, I will go from a volunteer to completely running the tennis program at GiGi’s Playhouse. Everyone I play with always has the best time swinging the racquet around and learning how to play tennis. The smiles on their faces make all of the time with them worth it. What we take for granted can be extremely challenging for some of them. The first time they make that volley or just get the ball over the net is monumental. It truly makes your realize what is important in life.

Tennis is the sport for me because it really taught me that hard work and dedication are the keys to success. It has also allowed me to give back to the community and help others. I also honestly believe it gave me great confidence in all aspects of my life. Setting foot in The Players Academy at 9 years old was truly a life-changing experience for me. I look forward to playing college tennis and hopefully one day going on to medical school. I feel tennis defines me, and I can’t imagine my life without it.



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