NTRP Player Spotlight:
Erin Maher | July 26, 2018
This year, the USTA launched the NTRP National Championships, a new national adult tournament that leverages the NTRP rating system as a way to create level-based competition. After an overwhelmingly successful inaugural year, USTA.com is highlighting the players who made this event special. This week, we caught up with Dana Scott, a cancer survivor who celebrated five years of remission at the NTRP Championships with her USTA League teammates by her side.
The support of a teammate is vital to any successful athlete and even more so off the court, as USTA member Dana Scott learned at the NTRP National Championships.
The Greenwood, Ind., resident picked up a tennis racquet 10 years ago and hasn’t stopped swinging since, becoming a USTA member and playing in multiple leagues every week.
It was on the tennis court in 2013 during a singles match that Scott’s life changed forever. ADVERTISEMENT She had been experiencing stomach pains for six months, but in the middle of a USTA League singles match, Scott’s illness forced her to retire and reach out for help.
Scott went to the doctor, who revealed that she had two tumors, both the size of a grapefruit, that had ruptured. Shortly after, Scott was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was told there was only a 7 percent rate of survival.
However, Scott didn’t let this tragic news keep her down. She faced treatment with tenacity and fight, just like the player she was on the tennis court.
To combat cancer, Scott underwent surgery, which included the removal of 60 lymph nodes, both tumors, and by a miracle, all the cancerous cells. After the surgery, Scott endured chemotherapy to kill any remaining cells.
Throughout her entire treatment, she had her friends, family and racquet by her side.
“I kept my racquet by my bed throughout the whole process," Scott said. "To me, it signified the last thing I did before I had cancer and the first thing I wanted to do when I beat it. I was going to get back out there and play.”
Scott’s USTA League teammates offered tremendous emotional support during this time, as well, sending her a bouquet of tennis balls.
In 2018, Scott celebrated five years of cancer remission and decided to honor the milestone on the court.
“I have played in a few other tournaments but never any outside of Ind. or to that magnitude. Just wanted to do something different and more challenging and the NTRP tournament seemed perfect for me! I had planned on going by myself, but that changed when my teammates found out about it,” said Scott.
Scott qualified for the NTRP National Championships, a new national adult tournament that leverages the NTRP rating system as a way to create level-based competition. Enrolled in the 50 & over 4.0 women’s singles division, Scott shared the news that she would be making her way down to Florida to compete.
After hearing about her plan to play in the tournament, one of Scott’s teammates suggested that the team join Scott in Florida to cheer her on.
And so came the NTRP National Championships, with Scott and and her Tipton Lakes Athletic Club team from Columbus, Ind., in tow. Adorned in green shirts that said “Team Dana” and with fans that had Dana’s face pictured on it, Scott’s USTA League teammates were there at every match, rooting for her. Scott had a tremendous time at the tournament, finishing in fifth place, and posting an impressive record of five wins and one loss. She plans to attend again next year.
While Scott didn’t take away the trophy at the end, she took home something greater: the deep bonds forged between teammates.
“My teammates have been so supportive,” said Scott. “They wanted to celebrate with me, and tennis got me through cancer.”