Menlo School senior David Ball has won the USTA Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award for his honorable tournament play during the season, and three other Menlo students were finalists.
Chosen among all junior players nationwide, Ball is one of four winners who will be honored in a ceremony during the International Hall of Fame weekend in Rhode Island, July 11-13.
In an unprecedented showing, Menlo had four finalists for the award: Vikram Chari, Lane Leschly and girls' CCS tennis singles champion Elizabeth Yao. The last winner from Menlo was Ball's brother Andrew (2011), who now plays for Harvard.
Presented annually by the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the award honors four recipients are selected from the 17 sectional nominations of the United States Tennis Association awards committee. The USTA Northern Section solicited nominations from tournament directors, officials and coaches, and this year, the section asked for selections from junior players, as well.
"David presents himself as a smart, thoughtful young man who values his roles as a student and an athlete . . . He is a phenomenal player and exhibits the type of quality and tradition in our sport that we want to showcase. The way he handles himself every time he steps on the court is something we are proud of. What is most impressive is how much of his heart he puts into his tennis when he competes without letting it get the better of him. When someone like David has accomplished as much as he has in his junior tennis career and is still a class act, it shows that character is really important in the game and in life.," the section said in its nomination.
Each winner is a junior player who exemplifies the finest qualities of sportsmanship in tournament play, as well as one who maintains the finest traditions of the great sportsmen/women of tennis, past and present. The award is given in honor of 1967 Hall of Famer Bill Talbert, who was regarded for his high standards of sportsmanship.
"David Ball was no surprise to me for winning this award," Menlo coach Bill Shine said. "During that time he has always placed the team and the goals of the team before his own."