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'30 Under 30' Includes Four From Southern

October 23, 2013 10:10 AM

Four Southerners were cited as innovative young people in the sport of tennis by the Racquet Sports Industry magazine. Please visit www.racquetsportsindustry.com for the complete "30 Under 30" list in their November/December issue.

Kaitlin Flaherty, Methodist University

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As the assistant director of the Professional Tennis Management program at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C., since August 2012, Kaitlin Flaherty wears a lot of hats: teacher, academic adviser, recruiter, social media coordinator, player development instructor, and more. The Texas native graduated with honors from the PTM program in 2011 (she played No. 1 on the Methodist tennis team), then received an MBA from Methodist in December, with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. Among her honors and achievements, she is a USPTA-certified pro, was named Methodist’s woman athlete of the year for 2011-2012, and recently was elected secretary/treasurer of the USPTA North Carolina Chapter board of directors. Flaherty also is heavily involved as a community tennis volunteer. “Kaitlin has done an absolutely wonderful job for Methodist,” says Tom Daglis, director of the Methodist PTM program. “She is definitely a person to watch.”

 

Carl Hocker, Country Club of Spartanburg

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A full-time tennis pro based at the Country Club of Spartanburg in South Carolina, Carl Hocker “teaches juniors tirelessly, seven days a week, traveling on weekends to tournaments around the country,” says one club member. But Hocker still has found time to serve on USTA South Carolina committees (including the junior competition and player development committees) and currently serves on the USTA SC board of directors and USTA Southern Coaches Commission. He coaches Southern Junior Cup, and in 2010 received the USTA South Carolina John Newcomb Pro of the Year Award. He’s been a coach at competition training centers for USTA SC from 2009, a USTA Southern coach at national closed events and Van der Meer All Star Camp coach. Hocker, a PTR-certified pro who played college tennis at The Citadel and USC Upstate, coaches each summer for USTA Southern, including with the Boys and Girls 12s and 14s Zonals.

 

Adam Queen, Your Serve Tennis

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Retailer Adam Queen serves the hot tennis market in Atlanta. As vice president of Your Serve Tennis, Queen is constantly in motion, addressing things that are happening at the eight store locations, interacting with customers and suppliers, and getting the word out locally about tennis and tennis service. Queen, who plays recreationally, learned to string when he was 14 (he’s an MRT) and helped out the store through high school and college at Georgia Tech, where he holds a degree in management. He’s realistic about retailing today, understanding that while the internet is here to stay, brick-and-mortar stores always will play an important role. “There is value in being where the consumer is,” Queen says. “There is definitely an opportunity for retailers. You can’t just be about giving out product. You have to look at your business and think, why is there a benefit for consumers shopping with me? What can I offer them?”

 

Tyson Thompson, USTA North Carolina

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As community program and training coordinator for USTA North Carolina, Tyson Thompson’s responsibilities include coordinating and expanding the School Tennis and NJTL programs throughout the state. He works with numerous organizations in an effort to expand youth tennis in after-school and camp programs. In addition, Thompson works with CTAs and other local tennis organizations for carnivals and on-court training sessions. “Tyson’s enthusiasm for tennis and his gift of teaching and encouragement shines forth as he promotes our sport to those who may be trying tennis for the first time,” says USTA NC Executive Director Kelly Gaines. “He has a great knack for events and building excitement.” Thompson, who was named an ITA Academic All-American Scholar-Athlete, received a degree in communications from Coker College, where he played on the tennis team and was captain in his senior year. He has a master’s in sport management from West Virginia University.
 

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