NYJTL student Srinath Mahankali was thrilled to meet one of his tennis idols, Gabriela Sabatini, at the BNP Paribas Showdown on March 10 at Madison Square Garden.
The USTA Foundation, which is the official charity partner of the 2015 BNP Paribas Showdown, recognized outstanding NJTL participants on court between the matches before an audience of more than 15,000 fans. Mahankali, who is in the sixth grade and who is a member of NYJTL’s Advanced Tournament Team, was a national winner of the Arthur Ashe Essay contest sponsored by the USTA.
Mahankali represented NYJTL and discussed the enormous impact the program has had on helping him to become an outstanding student and athlete. “The discipline, endurance and focus needed to succeed in tennis has really helped me to become a better student by applying those qualities to my school work”, said Mahankali.
The new chairman of the USTA Foundation is former top 10 ATP professional James Blake, who is a product of NJTL, and who praised the efforts on and off the court, of the NJTL students.