Tennis academy seeks youngsters

Sportimes owns several tennis centers in the metropolitan area, including one at Randalls Island. The center is also the home of New York Sportimes, one of eight franchises in the World Team Tennis League with four teams right from the northeast and east. It is also the venue of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in the third year of existence.

Eight ‘future’ outstanding tennis players in their age category recently were recipients and earned scholarships of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy. They include Cameron Daniels of Oakland Gardens, Diane McCready of Brooklyn, Natalie Eordekian of Woodside, and Palmer Clare of North Bellmore, all from the New York City area, and Leonte Wilder of Plainfield, New Jersey, Yorktown Heights’ Sean Wei, Tomas Kopczynski of Sleepy Hollow and Chesterfield, Michigan’s Arthur O’Dell.

Most of the winners were on hand during the final home event of the WTT schedule against undefeated Washington. In addition, the hard workers of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy which helps the very beginner through the advanced youngsters were in attendance to help make league play possible by doing different chores on the court.

Some 200 kids came for the tryouts and the staff was very much impressed with their play at Sportime-Randalls Island. The important thing is to raise money for the academy and try to develop the youngsters into the ‘stars of tomorrow.’

“Youngsters who come here love tennis and love what they are doing,” said Jaime Moore, who has been working at the academy for two years. “We take special interests with the kids. I was interested in working here at the Academy, applied for a job, and got it.”

A tennis player himself, Moore attended Hampton University and then played on a circuit. It was with the latter that he really picked up his game.

“That’s what I really wanted to do,” he said, before the last home match of the season. “One gets maturity and education and gets to travel while on the circuit. And one gets to learn about the cultures of people and about himself, as well.”

Moore doubles as a coach and community outreach director at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, named after an international outstanding tennis player, top ranking singles player at one time, and winner of so many titles, including the US Open, and now is a television commentator. Moore is assistant director of tournaments conducted at Sportime.

“My goal in tennis is to teach all kids, continue what I am doing,” said the resident of Manhattan.

“It is awesome to work under Hall of Famer John McEnroe,” Moore added. “I love it here.”

Moore said that about 80 kids work at Sportime on a given night when the venue hosts the World Team Tennis matches.

“We want to get as many kids involved on the court (as possible),” said McEnroe, who is trying to put in as much time as possible with the Academy.

“The program is a great opportunity as it is possible to stay connected with the sport,” said Andre Agassi, who played for the Boston Lobsters in the WTT. Agassi faced McEnroe in one World Team Tennis League match and four times on the tour.

Overall, Sportimes finished in second place behind Washington in the standings and head to the playoffs to be held in Charleston, South Carolina in mid-September after the conclusion of the United States Open tournament in New York. Last year, Washington captured the playoff championship while Sportime did not even qualify. Washington recently captured the regular season title with New York finishing second. The players are ‘up,’ for it.