National Campus hosts
D&I Winter Invitational
Arthur Kapetanakis | January 21, 2020
Over the three-day weekend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the USTA National Campus hosted the seventh annual USTA Diversity & Inclusion Winter Invitational.
The country’s largest college showcase for top-rated players of color, the event brought talented junior players from diverse ethnic backgrounds together for an exciting weekend of competition, networking and community service—and a special conversation and sneaker-customization workshop with former world No. 3 Stan Smith.
“Arthur Ashe advocated his whole life to encourage kids to go to college, to get an education,” said Smith, who called in to offer words of wisdom to the young players. “If you happen to play well enough to turn pro, then that’s sort of a bonus.”
USTA Foundation NJTL Excellence Team player Jered Wilson (Red Oak, Texas) won the boys’ tournament, while Mya Byrd (Norfolk, Va.) took the girls’ title.ADVERTISEMENT
While the competition was intense, the overall event’s impact reached far beyond the tennis court. In addition to competition and college readiness and recruiting workshops, the weekend included a community service activation in partnership with Central Florida’s Eatonville Boys’ and Girls’ Club.
Children from the organization were invited to the Campus for a fireside chat that highlighted parallels from the life of Dr. King and early tennis pioneers. The youth then headed onto the courts for some tennis games and drills, before watching the boys’ and girls’ showcase finals.
Check out some of the weekend’s highlights below, including some finished products from the sneaker-customization workshop.