Tauheed Browning:

NJTL lifer debuts on Pro Circuit

Arthur Kapetanakis  |  November 25, 2019

An NJTL lifer and USTA Foundation Excellence Team player, 16-year-old Tauheed Browning recently got the chance to test his game on a new level. The Philadelphia native and Legacy Youth Tennis and Education product won the Wild Card Shootout at the USTA All-American College Combine this June, earning a USTA Pro Circuit wild card. 


Browning took his spot in the main draw of the ITF World Tennis Tour M25 event in Fayetteville, Ark., in October, with the help of a $1,500 travel stipend from the USTA Foundation. Though he didn’t get the win in his pro-level debut, the high school junior learned a lot from the experience.


“I know I can always compete at that level,” he said. “For me, playing my first pro tournament was kind of overwhelming. I was really nervous out there. I didn’t compete the way I wanted to, but it was still a fun experience, and I know it won’t be the last.”



It wasn’t the first time Browning has stood across the net from a pro; the youngster has already had the privilege of hitting with several top ATP players, including France Tiafoe, Nick Kyrgios, Dan Evans and Chris Eubanks. In fact, Eubanks' coach, Christian Hill, has been a supplemental coach for Tauheed over the last two years.


Growing up, and still through today, "Young T" has primarily been coached by Charles "Cha" Goods and his father, Tauheed Browning Sr., who both work at Legacy.


"We are coaching partners, we're best friends, we're colleagues, we're everything," said Goods, who is a senior staff coach and also the director of video-based training at the NJTL chapter.


Though he’s seen a lot in his young tennis career, it wasn’t love at first sight when "Young T" was introduced to the sport. His sister Nadiyah Browning, currently a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, led the way in terms of tennis, and his father would make sure to coach her at courts with a playground nearby, so Tauheed would come along.


"I didn't like tennis at first. I thought it was really dumb," he said with a laugh. "But the more times my dad brought me around tennis, the more I started to like it."


Browning got hooked on the sport after his dad took his post at Legacy (then called Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education) as an NJTL coach more than a decade ago.


“Tauheed’s a Legacy kid,” said Sanjin Kunovac, the program’s director of tennis. “He’s been through the program since he was a kid. He’s gone through all our programs. He’s somebody who, at a young age, played in every single clinic. He was a good tennis player, and he was really excited and loved to play. 


“He’s somebody that we’ve always viewed as a high-potential player and just a nice kid.”


Added Goods: "He's been a very dynamic player since the first time he picked up a racquet. He has an adaptable game style; depending upon the opponent, we're able to adapt his game style. He can be an aggressive baseliner, he can be a defender, he can be an all-court player."


Also through Legacy, Browning has given back through community service. 


“NJTL has helped a lot,” he said. “I know a lot of people don’t get a lot of the opportunities that I’ve had.” 


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As he begins to ramp up his pursuit of a college education, Browning went to Orlando (along with another Legacy student, Julia Kelly) to take the next step by showcasing his talent at the USTA Combine, where the USTA Foundation pitched in by providing a $1,000 stipend to 25 Excellence Team players for travel and room costs.


While Browning had one eye on winning the Pro Circuit wild card, he was also excited about playing in front of so many top college coaches.


“It helped me a lot in the recruiting process,” he said. His performance at the Combine, along with later success at the USTA Boys’ 16s National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., earned him a lot of attention, including a look from the University of Illinois. 


A Tennis Recruiting five-star prospect with a 12 UTR, Tauheed is still weighing his college options. One important consideration is location; he would like to go somewhere where he can play outdoors, in order to best prepare himself for the primarily outdoor professional level.


After the Fayetteville event, Browning picked up his first ITF Junior Ranking points by qualifying and reaching the Round of 16 at the J4 event at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla. He plans to play Eddie Herr and the Orange Bowl to close out 2019, with his sights set on earning his way into the US Open junior tournament come next summer.


“I’m proud of him because it’s been a long journey,” said Browning Sr., referencing financial hurdles that limited his son’s ability to travel to top-tier events.


“When he does get an opportunity, especially amongst his peers, he’s showing up.”


Off the court, Browning has shown an entrepreneurial spirit and an artistic flair by creating and selling sweatshirts with handmade designs. An avid gamer, he’s also taken a pre-college program at nearby Drexel University on commercial real estate.  


No matter the endeavor, the principles of his father and coach continue to guide him. 


“It’s about having pride in your performance and giving 100 percent,” says Browning Sr., “in tennis and in life.”


Follow Tauheed on Instagram: TB___Rising19


Pictured above: Tauheed Browning poses with the USTA All-American College Combine Wild Card Shootout trophy.


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