Northwood Pulse teammates Tashanna Smith and Gabe Knowles stood out in a big way last year at USTA Junior Team Tennis National Championships, earning the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award for attitude and respect shown on the court.
(Knowles was featured on page 29 of the recent issue of NetPLAY Magazine).
For Smith, sportsmanship and tennis go hand in hand. In her eyes, it’s simple.
“To me, sportsmanship is when you manage to be competitive and have fun, while making sure to be respectful to your opponent,” she said.
Smith began playing tennis at age 3 with her father. She’s spent the last 12 years enjoying the game through classes, tournaments and summer camps. She currently plays high school tennis and enjoys casual hits with her friends.
“What I enjoy most, however, is when I can just go out and have fun,” she said. “Playing a challenge match or two against a fellow teammate or family member, or playing a quick game of “King and Queen of the Court” allows me to participate in activites that not only keep my game in shape, but also allow me to spend time to those I’m close to.”
Smith has excelled in team environments in recent years, becoming an especially valuable player on her Northwood Junior Team Tennis team. So what does she enjoy so much about being part of a team?
“I enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by other players who are competitive but know how to have fun on the court,” she said. “It allows me to relax, stay motivated and know that someone is always cheering me on.”
Learn more about USTA Junior Team Tennis, and other play opportunities, by clicking here.