NJTL 50 for 50:
Mayor David Dinkins
Erin Maher | March 29, 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 have helped shape this incredible community that is 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 former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, who has been a longstanding supporter of NJTL for many years, including hosting the NJTL Essay Contest reception at his home. Mayor Dinkins can be seen every year at the US Open, greeting NJTL participants and their families.
The David Dinkins File
Name: David Dinkins
NJTL Chapter: NYJTL, NJTL National Initiatives
Role with NJTL: Longtime supporter
How did you get involved with NJTL?
Arthur Ashe. ADVERTISEMENT I guess I’ve known him forever. I don’t really remember when we first met, but I was, of course, a fan, like everyone else. To get to meet him and become friends was a great enjoyment for me. He was so passionate about the NJTL, so that’s how I became involved.
You have been a longtime supporter of NJTL, going as far as hosting the NJTL Essay Contest reception at your home. How did that come about?
We’ve done that for a few years now, thanks really to Skip Hartman, who is a founder of the NYJTL. Skip Hartman has done wonderful, wonderful work, and for many years has done so. It was he who first suggested that we have this dinner or luncheon at our home. It’s gotten so big now that we hold it at the National Tennis Center.
What has kept you involved with NJTL for so long?
The USTA as a charity, which is what we are. It’s important that we demonstrate that we are making a contribution to the broader community. I maintain that we don’t own this planet, we hold it in trust for the children.
What do you enjoy most about NJTL?
The impact that it has on its participants. It’s done a great job because there’s been an emphasis on education as well as tennis, which is so very, very important.
*Pictured above: Mayor David Dinkins attends 2018 Arthur Ashe Kids' Day.