Our Facebook posts are a great way to review our faces, activities and accomplishments from 2009 to the present.
Excellence Team Travel Provides Valuable Tennis & Learning
at the 2017 DC Cup - National 10 & U Teams Competition
Six members of the A's & Aces Tournament Training Team traveled to College Park, MD, July 27-30, 2017 with two A's & Aces coaches, Tennis Director, A.J. Varnado, and Coach Eddie Garcia, for the USTA National Excellence Teams 10 & under competition.
A's & Aces is one of 12 USTA National Junior Tennis & Learning designated "Excellence Teams" across the nation. Each team adopts the name of a tennis personality. The A's & Aces Team is the "Mike McNulty Excellence Team." Mr. McNulty has served as President of the Louisiana and Southern Tennis Associations, and is on the national board of the USTA. Mike is committed strengthening and growing tennis at all levels.
In addition to tennis, they also shared birthday cake with famed coach Nick Bollettieri, toured Washington, DC monuments, and enjoyed the opportunity to attend the Washington Kastles, one of six teams currently competing in World Team Tennis.
A's & Aces Teens Attend 2017 STA Tennis & Leadership Camp
Three of our Tournament Training campers (Michael Griffin, Ethan Morgan, and Jahlil Cambrice) traveled to Atlanta for the Southern Tennis Association NJTL Leadership Camp at Georgia Tech. In additional to tennis and workshops on the college campus, they attended the BB&T Atlanta Open pro tournament, toured CNN and the APEX Museum ( African-American Panoramic Experience).
William Bostick Wins 2017 NJTL Essay Trip to Winston-Salem
Over 140 campers ages 7-16 learned on the courts and in the classrooms during our 2017 Summer Literacy & Tennis Camps. Campers drafted, edited, and submitted compositions to the USTA NJTL Essay Contest. Starting in 2011, an A's & Aces student-athlete has won a trip to New York or Winston-Salem to attend an ATP professional tennis tournament each year. 2017 was no exception; A's & Aces' William Bostick, the 2017 LA winner, joined 7 others from each of the Southern Tennis Association states for an all-expense paid trip for the winner and a parent to the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., Aug 19-21.
Teah Johnson Earns 2017 Southern Teams Challenge Invite
USTA Southern invited top 10&U players to the Southern Teams Challenge held June 24-25 in Chattanooga, TN. Selection was based on results from the three Southern Regional Championships held earlier that month. A's & Aces' Teah Johnson, one of our Tolmas Scholars, earned an invitation based on finishing 5th in the Southern Closed 10s Championship West (LA, ARK, MS). Invitees were divided into 4 teams, each with a coach able to coach during match play. (Among the coaches was former US Open quarter-finalist and mixed doubles champion Melanie Oudin.) Teah won 4 of her 6 matches!
12s & 14s Teams Train at USTA Orange Bowl Event
As one of the USTA NJTL Chapters to earn the Excellence Team designation, A's & Aces was selected to participate in the age 11-14 Excellence Teams Jr. Orange Bowl Workout in Key Biscayne, Florida. Four of our top players meeting all Excellence Teams goals and criteria, Chris Brown, Nick Crockens, Jude Edwards and Troy Houston, traveled with Coach A.J. Varnado to participate in this special “Earned Advancement” opportunity Dec 8-10, 2017 .
2017 NOLA Fall Jr. Grand Prix
Our last USTA sanctioned tournament of the year was held November 18-19 in partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission.
Tournament results for 12-18 Yellow Ball divisions, and 10s Green & Orange divisions (all STA/LTA-Level 5 events ) are here, and Novice 8s Red Ball and 12s Green Ball divisions (Level 6), are here
The A’s & Aces 2017 Gala was a HUGE SUCCESS
We are grateful to our hosts (the Cooper, Waring and Fitz-Hugh families), and all sponsors, donors, attendees, volunteers and staff who made the "We're Going to State" Gala an amazing night!!!
to 100+ wonderful auction items, great food, and company.
In addition, some of our top scholar-athletes were honored for excelling both on and off the court. Mike McNulty, a former president of the LTA and STA is now a USTA Board Member and is a Director on the USTA Board (and is the "Ambassador" for "Team McNulty , the A's & Aces Excellence Team), led a live auction with Saints items and tennis trips.
3 Successful 2017 Summer USTA 1-Day Tournaments
On June 29, 2017 A's & Aces hosted 52 young players in the Crescent City Open, the first of our three summer USTA sanctioned tournaments held at Joe Brown Park. A's & Aces student-athletes continued to gain experience daily in their camps, and had additional opportunities to test their growth in tournaments held on July 12 and on July 29.
Our summer tournaments provide rallying beginners with a first tournament opportunity, and intermediate-level players can earn ranking points and gain valuable experience. Players meet USTA members from all over the Metro area, as well as some from the Northshore and Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The one-day Youth Progression Pathway tournaments feature level 5 (10s Orange and Green Ball) with ranking points, with level 6, non-ranking 8s and 12s divisions.
Chase's 2017 ReturnTheServe is a Big Hit
On July 14th, about 80 A's & Aces summer campers together with their coaches and volunteers celebrated the annual 'Return The Serve' event sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Chase). As part of its commitment to the communities in which they serve, Chase provides $100,000 across ten key markets to local youth tennis and education programs. A’s & Aces is a beneficiary of this donation, and as such, received a $10,000 grant for our youth to have opportunities to learn and grow from the sport. Chase promotes the platform on their social media #ReturnTheServe. Click here to see more photos, and here for the NOLA.com article and photos.
4 2017 Summer Camps Teach 7 Weeks of "A's" & "Aces"
In partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), A's & Aces provided 7-week Literacy and Tennis camps at Dillard University, Atkinson-Stern Tennis Center, and Joe Brown Park. In addition, we also hosted a Tournament Training Camp at the University of New Orleans throughout June and July. In total, over 140 campers ages 7-16 learned on the courts and in the classrooms. For instance, all campers drafted, edited, refined, and submitted compositions to the USTA NJTL Essay Contest. In each of the last several years, a camper has won a trip to New York or Winston-Salem to attend an ATP professional tennis tournament. THIS YEAR WAS NO EXCEPTION as William Bostick's essay won a trip for him and his mom to the August 2017 Winston-Salem Open men's professional tennis tournament played at Wake Forest University.
NORDC campers participate in several local field trips, swimming, and special activities, and many compete in the three A's & Aces-hosted USTA sanctioned Youth Progression Pathway tournaments with 8s, 10s, and 12s divisions at Joe Brown Park this summer.
Early in June, the Camp at UNO welcomed USTA Player Development Coach, Johnny Parkes. He worked individually with several of our players, and helped coaches and volunteers, including A's & Aces' Head Coach A.J. Varnado, Caitlin Casey, Alan Green, Xavier University Head Coach, and Naz Karagoz (Tulane's #1 Women's player), whose father (the Turkish FED Cup Captain) also visited the camp.
2017 NOLA Spring Junior Grand Prix
A's & Aces hosted its first tournament of 2017 on April 22-23 at the NORDC Joe Brown Park Tennis Center. Over 85 players filled the 8&U-16&U draws, and nearly one-third being regular A's & Aces participants gaining valuable experience, many earning ranking points.
All USTA tournaments hosted by A's & Aces are made possible through the long-standing partnership with NORDC.
2017 Zurich Classic Community Impact Award
Presented to A's & Aces' President
Zurich Insurance honored two community leaders on Sunday for their work to improve the lives of children in New Orleans. Dr. Anna Monhartova, A's & Aces co-founder, and Chuck Roth, Executive Director of Boys Hope Girls Hope New Orleans, were this year's recipients of the Zurich Classic Community Impact Award. The awards were presented on Sunday April 30 at the packed auditorium of the Roosevelt Hotel immediately following a presentation by former NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.
Click here to watch Zurich's 3-min video describing A's & Aces and highlighting our scholar-athlete Chris Brown.
November 2016 Gala is a "Smashing Success"
Our annual fundraiser ("A Simply Smashing Night") was hosted by Frances & Calvin Fayard at their beautiful St. Charles Ave "Wedding Cake" home on November 17. About 200 attendees bid on a large variety of auction items while enjoying great food, wine, and friends.
Honored guests, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and NORDC's CEO Vic Richard, recognized A's & Aces kids who had won special Awards: the 2016 10 & U Boy's and Girls State Claycourt Singles Champions, 2016 Metro Middle School Team Champions, 2016 Arthur Ashe Essay Contest Louisiana Best Essay Winner, and USTA National Student-Athlete Competition winners in both Boys Elementary School and Boys Middle School divisions.
A's & Aces Selected La 2016 NJTL Chapter of the Year
A's & Aces was awarded the National Junior Tennis & Learning "Chapter of the Year" for 2016 by the Louisiana Tennis Association at the Annual Meeting in December, for the second year in a row.
TrueSport Video Highlights A's & Aces Partnership
TrueSport, a grassroots movement affiliated with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, partners with A's & Aces to promote the positive experiences that youth sport can bring to help young athletes build the life skills and core values for success on and off the court.
In 2016, two multi-medal Olympians visited New Orleans as TrueSport Ambassadors to film a video highlighting the partnership and our student-athletes: after-school program at Dillard University and our Atkinson-Stern summer camp. TrueSport's motto is "We Value Champions. We Champion Values." Click here to view the video.
A's & Aces' 7 yr old Wins La. 2016 Ashe Essay Contest
The Arthur Ashe Essay Contest is held annually by the USTA Foundation, on the national and state levels. In 2016, the award for 1st place in Louisiana was earned by our very own Saige LaCour, age 7, of Harvey, LA. Saige was awarded a trip for herself and her mom to attend an award ceremony at the Winston-Salem Open, an ATP pro tournament held at the Wake Forest Tennis Center in North Carolina! The August 20-27 event was the final tournament in the nine-tournament series leading up the US Open.
A's & Aces 2016 Excellence Team Travels to D.C. Area
The A's & Aces 10 & Under Excellence Team was one of eleven teams chosen nationwide to compete in the 2016 NJTL Excellence Teams Cup, hosted by the USTA Foundation in College Park, Maryland, on July 21-24. In addition to the competition, our players attended the Citi Open with draws of top ATP and WTA players, participated in a clinic with famed coach Nick Bollettieri, interacted with other young tennis players from around the country, and toured famous monuments of Washington, D.C. Our Excellence Team placed 3rd overall! View more photos of their experience here.
A's & Aces Benefits from Chase Returning the Serve
Many thanks to JP Morgan Chase and the USTA Foundation for helping us provide a day of tennis and fitness for nearly 100 of our summer campers on July 15th. This event was part of a national Return the Serve program that selected 10 NJTL chapter organizations across the country, and made $10K donations to each again this year. View more event photos here.
"Prevent Obesity" Highlights Camp Cooking Classes
A's & Aces was featured in PreventObesity.net in an article titled, Chopping and Serving Their Way to a Healthier Lifestyle. A's & Aces added cooking skills to the curriculum during our 2015 summer camps with Cooking up Healthy Options and Portions (CHOP), a program sponsored by Ochsner Hospital.
2013 Summer Literacy & Tennis Camps Host 148 Campers
Three simultaneous 7-week, all-day, free breakfast and lunch, Literacy & Tennis Camps were held at Dillard University, Pontchartrain Park/SUNO, and Atkinson Stern Tennis Center.
A's & Aces Meets Monica Seles
Laureus comprises the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Awards, which collectively harness the power of sport to promote social change (and celebrate sporting excellence). A partnership between Laureus and Coach Across America launched in New Orleans with a special event featuring former #1 World-Ranked Monica Seles.
This initiative trains and places coaches in New Orleans after-school sports programs to put into action much needed work to combat youth crime. Recent research has suggested that budget cuts in after-school sports programs have left young Americans three times more at risk of getting involved in unlawful activities. More.