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All kids need is a chance!

Excellence Program participants are National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) youth chosen based on their elite level of tennis ability, educational outcomes and commitment to the pathway to become student-athletes at the collegiate and professional levels. 

The Excellence Program ensures the best coaching and resources are available to those kids with the most desire, athletic potential and financial need. Local chapters are encouraged to generate outside funding for sustainability, and kids learn the importance of hard work, grit and graciousness.
 
As NJTLs embody the USTA Foundation mission to bring tennis and education together to change lives, Excellence Program events integrate tennis on-court activities and educational off-court activities. Our off-court has included group discussion and writing exercises on "Fitting In vs. Belonging – the Role of a Leader".
 
Currently, the USTA Foundation has 14 NJTL chapters across the country that have identified close to 300 promising athletes. These athletes are identified and selected due to their hard work, talent, perseverance and grit. These Excellence Teams are provided additional resources designed to provide coaching, equipment and tournament travel at no cost to underserved junior tennis players from under-resourced populations who would otherwise never have the chance to even play. 
 
The Excellence Program includes a “playing pyramid” with mass community outreach at the bottom, a pathway of developmental programs in the middle and an elite group emerging at the top – possibly the next US Open champion! 

2020 Excellence Teams

Dallas Tennis & Education Academy (Team Nowitzki) – Addison, TX

Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program (Team Adams) – Harlem, NY

InnerCity Tennis (Team Wheaton) – Minneapolis, MN

Junior Tennis Champions Center (Team Wilander) – College Park, MD

Legacy Youth Tennis & Education (Team Li) – Philadelphia, PA

Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation (Team Bryan) – Las Vegas, NV

Metropolitan Tennis & Education Group (Team DMV - Shane) –  D.C., Maryland, Virginia

New York Junior Tennis & Learning (Team Huber) – Bronx, NY

South Atlanta Community Tennis Association (Team Oudin) – Atlanta, GA 

Greensboro Tennis Association (Team Isner) – Greensboro, NC

2020 Development Teams

Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center – Dorchester, MA

Tennis Memphis (Team Klaasen) – Memphis, TN 

XS Tennis (Team Stubbs) – Chicago, IL

A’s & Aces (Team McNulty) – New Orleans, LA

Program Statistics

10 players have been ranked Top 10 in the Nation

95% of Excellence Program participants have a 3.0 GPA or higher

96% of Excellence Program participants improve their tennis skills

26 of 26 graduating Excellence Program seniors received a full or partial scholarship to a 4 year college or university

100% of Excellence Program participants report they will graduate from high school

100% of coaches are USPTA/PTR Certified

All 14 Excellence Teams are required to participate in various events, provide training opportunities for both coaches and youth and adhere to national 
program standards.  
  • Coaches Training – online training courses, face-to-face workshops, certified, work with a mentor
  • Tennis Training – 30+ weeks of programming, tournament play, USTA Player Development Wild Card Playoff, USTAF NJTL Excellence Cup, USTAF NJTL Excellence Team Workout
  • College Prep – track report cards, maintain GPA, Essay Contest, community service
  • Marketing, Sponsorship, Fundraising & Communication
Currently, no additional teams are being added to the program. If you have further questions regarding the Excellence Program, please contact us via excellenceprograms@usta.com.
 
Excellence Program Player Spotlight

Robin Montgomery

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#5 ITF World Ranked Junior 
2020 Junior Australian Open Quarterfinalist
2020 ITF $25,000 Las Vegas Singles Champion
2019 Orange Bowl 18s Singles Champion
2019 ITF Junior Pan American Champion
2019 ITF Junior Easter Bowl Finalist
2019 Junior Fed Cup Champion
2019 Junior French Open, Junior Wimbledon and Junior US Open Competitor

Clervie Ngounoue

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2020 Les Petis Doubles Champion and Singles Finalist
2019 WTA Future Stars Singles Champion
2019 Junior Orange Bowl Doubles Champion and Singles Finalist 
2019 Toga ITF Winner Grade 5
2018 14s USTA Hard Court Nationals Singles Finalist
2018 14s USTA Clay Court Nationals Singles Champion
2018 Eddie Herr 14s Finalist
2018 Junior Orange Bowl 12s Singles Champion
 

Other Excellence Program Opportunities

College Pathway Program

"Strengthening American Tennis from the community to college"
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The College Pathway has been introduced to Excellence Teams, as we now support players ages 15-18, within the NJTL Excellence Program. The program has two annual events for this age group. The USTA All-American College Combine, presented by Adidas in collaboration with the USTA Collegiate Department, allows players to be nominated to participate in the combine that is attended by top college coaches from all divisions of college tennis. The College Pathways Training Camp provides an elite group of 16 Boys and Girls the opportunity to participate in training with USTA Player Development.     

Individual Player Grants (Closed)

The USTA Foundation Individual Player Identification Grant provides support to under-resourced players, ages 12-18, who are excelling academically (minimum 3.0 GPA) and in competitive tennis. To be considered for this opportunity, a player must be training and competing in tournaments year-round.

Coaching Education Grants (Temporarily Suspended)

The USTA Foundation provides coaching education grants for elite coaches within the NJTL network to participate in the USA High-Performance Coaching Program and the USA Continuing Education Program. This program allows for NJTL coaches to receive continuing education for them to be able to provide the highest level of tennis instruction to their home programs. 

If you are interested in donating to the Excellence Program, please click here and help our NJTL youth become more competitive tennis players and more dedicated students.

 

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