Bohman builds burgeoning career from the Foundation up

May 19, 2015 12:00 PM
Courtney Bohman

By Nicholas J. Walz, USTAFoundation.com

Courtney Bohman didn’t truly appreciate tennis until she found herself in the game as a sophomore at Pius XI High School. Beyond a clinic she attended at the age of 7, Bohman didn’t have much prior experience with the sport. 

But once Bohman started, she was hooked.

She would go on to play No. 1 singles as a senior now, a decade later, continues to play regularly. Academics often came easy for her, but tennis has been a passion that has challenged her to work hard to improve through the years.

“Tennis was a no-cut sport at our school, so I could get involved and stay involved even as a beginner,” said Bohman, who graduated as valedictorian of a 2007 senior class of 304 students at Pius XI. “[I] started as a doubles player, having fun sharing the court with someone else and learning teamwork before getting better and playing singles the two years afterward.

“I was learning independence and strong discipline, trying to contribute to help out the team. I got so much right away from the game.”

Bohman, now 26, would also participate in volleyball, gymnastics and figure skating growing up in Wisconsin. She found tennis to be the most socially interactive of those sports, and she zeroed in on that.

“Initially, I was nervous because it was so new,” said Bohman of joining the Pius XI tennis team. “It probably took a week or two before I felt ensconced in the team. But at a time when I was fighting myself to not get tunnel vision with school work, tennis balanced me. Playing was that welcome break from the classroom, and the court became the place to express myself.”

A different form of expression was required when Bohman decided to apply for college. With the help of her parents, Bohman researched the USTA Foundation’s Marion Wood Baird Scholarship, which to this day remains available to high school seniors who excel academically, demonstrate achievement in leadership and participate extensively in an organized community tennis programs.

Bohman considered herself a worthy candidate and was rewarded financially, earning thousands of dollars to attend her school of choice: Marquette University.

“Frankly, that scholarship allowed me to go to Marquette because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to afford it,” said Bohman, who earned a B.S. in business administration from Marquette and graduated summa cum laude with a 3.9 GPA.

She keeps challenging herself now that she’s an adult – “I’ll set fairly lofty goals for myself, but ones that I feel are achievable,” she said – and in her mid-20s, currently serves as the global product manager for the Brady Corporation in Milwaukee, an international digital security company. Bohman was honored in 2014 as the Brady Company’s “Customer Operations Support Person of the Year.” 

When she’s not building for a future in the office, Bohman still plays recreationally on weekends – once again, racquets, balls and a net providing a necessary break from the bustle. She plans to go back to school in the near future to earn a graduate degree.

“As cliché as it may sound, tennis delivers life lessons – you learn a lot about being dedicated, being punctual and contributing to the greater whole,” said Bohman. “That was the coaching that stayed with me. How to hit a proper forehand or backhand is a relatively small part of it.”

***

To support the work of the USTA Foundation and its efforts to support student-athletes like Courtney Bohman, click here to donate.

 

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