Briggs, Pratt named to USTA
Junior Leadership Team
May 18, 2018
Carly Briggs and Jared Pratt have been named to the third annual USTA Junior Leadership Team, which recognizes America’s finest junior tennis players who exhibit leadership, sportsmanship and character on and off the court.
Briggs, of Calhoun, Ga., and Pratt, of Charleston, S.C., are among more than 30 players nationwide named to the USTA Junior Leadership Team. Each player was nominated by his or her USTA section for their excellence in tennis and in the community.
“These players are our future leaders, and the values they’ve shown to embody both on the court and in the community are evidence that our future will be in good hands,” said Lew Brewer, the USTA’s Director of Junior Competition. “They are the perfect role models that represent our nationwide Net Generation efforts, and they truly deserve to be recognized with the USTA Junior Leadership Team.”
Briggs, 16, has been ranked in the Top 10 nationally in the USTA girls’ 16-and-under standings and in the Top 40 at the 18s level. She’s been a singles and doubles champion at USTA Level 2 national tournaments, in addition to winning the USTA Spring Team national title and two USTA Junior Team Tennis national championships, while reaching the Georgia state finals out of Calhoun High School.
Pratt, 18, has been ranked as the No. 1 player in the nation in the USTA Boys’ 18s national standings and will play college tennis at the University of Wisconsin next fall. He won the doubles title at the 2017 USTA National Indoor Championships and placed third in singles at the USTA National Winter, Clay Court and Indoor Championships in 2017. He won the 2015 South Carolina boys’ state title out of Bishop England High School, where he is a member of the National Honor Society, a South Carolina Palmetto Fellow and has earned several academic awards, for Honors Chemistry and English.
“Tennis has taught me how to maintain balance between winning and losing,” Briggs said. “Life isn’t always easy because what happens to us is not always good, yet sometimes is awesome. Tennis has shown me how to handle the losses and learn from them. This was not always easy for me because I am very competitive. Playing competitive tennis for years has helped me to be more mature about how I respond to the losses, my opponents and the referees. I feel no matter what I do in life, tennis has given me a foundation that will carry me through life’s ups and downs.”
Each year, more than 120,000 players compete in USTA junior tournaments. Players compete in levels of competition through earned advancement in the 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s age divisions. USTA junior tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want – high school, college or pros – or just have fun competing.
In his own words...
Jared Pratt: Tennis has become more than just competition for me. It has an uncanny ability to create rivalries that turn into families. In my own career, I have already met (and competed against) plenty of people that I am honored to call great friends. Somehow, a sport so focused on individual success is able to promote uncharacteristic team growth and camaraderie. Over the years, I have learned how healthy competition brings the best out of everyone and produces bonds that span generations.
Sportsmanship is an essential part of competition. Often, it is what enables competitive tennis matches to result in mutual respect and friendship. Moments like the compassion Juan Martin del Potro displayed last year at the French Open when Nicolas Almagro became injured is an example of sportsmanship at the professional level that can resonate to all tennis players at every level. It encourages us to act with respect and humility, which I feel is essential for good competition.
Tennis has taught me that competition is much bigger than just one match between myself and my opponent. At the end of the day, no matter who wins or loses, I know there are always more matches to play and more people to meet. It is one of the best ways to build character while also becoming part of something bigger than yourself. Above all, tennis is a community sport and it has welcomed me into its family, which I will never leave.