Excellence Program seniors set to move on to college tennis

Mya Spencer in action at the USTA All-American College Combine in June 2019.
May 22, 2020 02:00 PM

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, seniors across the United States were unable to have the ending to their high school careers that they might’ve expected.


From seeing their spring seasons cut short both in the classroom and on the court to holding graduation exercises virtually, the class of 2020 had to overcome adversity to close the book on an important chapter of life — but thanks in part to the resources provided to them by the USTA Foundation’s Excellence Program, talented tennis players from National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) chapters across the country will enter an exciting next phase.


As of mid-May, 22 Excellence Program student-athletes from across the country in the class of 2020 have committed to play tennis at the collegiate level.


In partnership with USTA Player Development, the Excellence Program consists of 14 teams in major markets nationwide comprised of nearly 300 of the best student-athletes in the NJTL network. The program helps fund the required educational, tennis training and tournament expenses to foster their opportunity to succeed on and off the court.


To date, these student-athletes from nine NJTL chapters have announced that they will compete at 21 different schools on either full or partial athletics and/or academic scholarships beginning this fall.


“The training and education I have received at the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program has helped me on my way to college by providing immense resources for me to improve my game from physical, emotional, and mental standpoints,” said Vassar College commit Sofie Shen from New York.


“Every coach invested personal time into helping me improve and show how much they care about me every day at practice. Also at HJTEP, I received a full scholarship to cover tournament fees, travel costs, SAT tutoring, and college advising to allow me to choose and be accepted to my top school, Vassar College.”


Other Excellence Program athletes have committed to tennis programs at schools including George Mason University, Rice University, the University of San Diego and the University of Southern California — and commitments are expected to continue into the summer months as schools have modified and adjusted their deposit timelines in light of the events surrounding the pandemic.


Mya Spencer, a Maryland native training with the Metropolitan Tennis & Education Group, added: “The Excellence Program has helped me develop relationships that connected me to my [future] college coach. Without the USTA Foundation coaches, I probably would not have the opportunity to attend St. Louis University.”


The current list of colleges and universities that Excellence Program seniors have committed to (as of May 22) can be found below: 


Methodist College 

Tuskegee University
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Morgan State University

University of Southern California

Chestnut Hill College

University of Tennessee Chattanooga

Rice University
Frostburg University

Mary Washington University

University of San Diego

U.S. Military Academy - West Point

U.S. Naval Academy

Swarthmore College
George Mason University

Piedmont International University

Vassar College

Saint Louis University
Xavier University of New Orleans

Xavier University of Louisiana




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