Selected for their ability, dedication, and commitment as student-athletes, Amari O’Brien, Aqeela Malik, Nathen Martin, and Antonio Warner proudly represented JTCC at the United States Tennis Association Foundation (USTAF) 2023 Excellence Teams Regional competition at Montgomery TennisPlex in Boyds, MD over Presidents’ Day weekend.
USTAF Excellence Teams events include both tennis and educational activities. The four-day event featured more than 45 participants representing six National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters across the region.
Playing under the “Team Tiafoe” name to recognize JTCC alumnus Frances Tiafoe now ranked world #15, all four JTCC players earned trophies for their outstanding efforts on the court.
Malik was a finalist in the Girls’ 16s Singles, while Martin had a weekend he won’t soon forget. The 16-year-old won the Boys’ 18s Doubles and Mixed Doubles championships, pairing with Warner and O’Brien, respectively.
The quartet also participated in an off-court service activity. The players helped create bagged lunches with love messages as part of the organization #HashtagLunchbag’s mission to inspire giving back globally.
Coaches from HBCU universities including Coppin State, Howard, and Morgan State University, addressed the players to encourage and inspire them on the important topic of what it takes to compete at the next level.
“Winning both boys and mixed doubles was exciting to achieve alongside my team members and friends from JTCC,” Martin said. “I am thankful I was selected to represent JTCC and learn from college coaches as I prepare for my future.”