NJTL 50 for 50:
McCarton Ackerman | August 14, 2019
As the USTA Foundation celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the National Junior Tennis & Learning network, USTA.com looks at 50 NJTL leaders and alumni who helped shape this incredible community dedicated to helping youth strive for academic and athletic excellence on the tennis court, in the classroom and in life.
In this installment, we catch up with 13-year-old NJTL participant Clervie Ngounoue, who represented Team USA this month in the World Junior Tennis finals, a 14-and-under world team competition held in Prostejov, Czech Republic.
The Clervie Ngounoue File
Name: Clervie Ngounoue
NJTL Chapter: Metropolitan Tennis & Education Group (MTEG)
Role with NJTL: Participant on the Excellence Team and Chase Return The Serve
Year became active in NJTL: 2017
How did you first become involved with the NJTL?
Clervie Ngounouie: My dad was friends with Jeri Ingram and she introduced NJTL to him.
My sister was on it first and then I got put on it, so I started going through the practices two years ago.
How has being on the Excellence Team helped you on and off the court?
Clervie Ngounouie: It’s definitely been intense, but all the coaches and the system have helped me so much. I’ve met a lot of great people being in the program as well and I’m glad I’ve gotten to know them.
What did winning the sportsmanship award on the AmEx Excellence Team mean to you?
Clervie Ngounouie: It meant a lot. It wasn’t the first time I’ve won a sportsmanship award, but I was proud of myself for being able to keep the same attitude on court.
What has the experience of competing in the World Junior Tennis finals been like for you?
Clervie Ngounouie: It’s been amazing. Being in Prostejov [Czech Republic] for the first time and competing for Team USA is such an honor. I love the competition and it’s been such a great experience.
What are some of your goals for the future?
Clervie Ngounouie: I definitely want to win Grand Slams, but also want to be an inspiration to younger kids. I want to be able to spread motivation, inspiration and love for the game.