Tennis' Return Makes Former Players Happy
GREENSBORO – Men’s tennis will be back on North Carolina A&T’s campus soon. After foregoing the program in 2006 for budget concerns, the Aggies plan to play a full slate of matches in 2015 with hopes of playing for a MEAC title in April.
But if Aggie fans want to get an early glance at men’s tennis, they can this fall. The men’s team will play in tournaments in Atlanta, Winston-Salem, Durham and Elon during the fall.
The process for the return of men’s tennis started in the summer of 2013 when Earl M. Hilton III, A&T’s director of athletics, announced the addition of three varsity sports and reinstatement of men’s tennis. Men’s and women’s golf will begin play in 2016, while women’s soccer will not have its inaugural season until 2020. All three aforementioned sports will be new to the varsity lineup for A&T.
Men’s tennis is different.
The Aggies had a rich history of recruiting African-American males to successfully play a country club sport at a historically black university. The program produced leaders of tomorrow and ambassadors for the sport.
“Aggie tennis allowed me to continue playing the game I love on the collegiate level after playing Juniors,” said Calvin Davis, a 2003 graduate of A&T who trains tennis players in Charlotte. “I very much look forward to supporting the new men’s team and attending matches.”
Abdul Jordan is another former men’s tennis player who continued to prosper in the sport after graduation. Jordan, a 1999 graduate, was a three-time team MVP and team captain for men’s tennis. Today, he is a United States Professional Tennis Association certified elite professional tennis instructor in Maryland.
“As a former player, assistant and now supporter of Aggie tennis, it was terrible news eight years ago,” Jordan said about the program being disbanded. “I am, however, equally excited that the program is back and here to stay. I am looking forward to seeing its growth with ambitions of ultimately creating a legacy in this new chapter for Aggie tennis.”
Bruce Myers is the man in charge of putting A&T men’s tennis back into the collegiate ranks. In May, Myers announced the signing of four players to compete during the 2015 season. Myers’ historic class will bring back men’s tennis in style with a home match at the Aggie Tennis Complex against the Big 10’s Michigan State Spartans on January 18.
It is important to see a men’s tennis program reinstated because there are so many others across the country being discontinued, according to Myers.
“Obviously, I am so excited to get the men’s season underway,” said Myers. “The benefits of having top-level competition so close by and being able to compete in high-level fall tournaments will really give me a good idea of where we stand and what things we need to work on. The outpouring of support from former Aggie men’s tennis players has been outstanding.”