| By Michael Sarro

On the day after New York saw its biggest snow storm in October since 1979, more than 110 high school juniors and seniors, their parents, and more than 40 college coaches braved the treacherous roads to attend the 25th Annual College Showcase Day held at the Saw Mill Club in Mt. Kisco, N.Y. For 25 years, USTA/Eastern has held the event to inform local high school students about playing college tennis. Among the local schools in attendance were: Manhattan College, Queens College, CW Post, City College, Purchase College, Manhattanville College, and Yeshiva University.

At the event, high school juniors participated in drills and attended special workshops. High school seniors played in a round-robin tournament and were able to have lunch with college coaches and also attend the College Showcase. Topics discussed ranged from scholarships, club tennis, why a specific school/team would be the right fit for a specific player and how to weigh what is important to a player in conjunction with a specific team or school. Leading the seminar discussions were USTA college experts, as well as past attendees of the event who now play college tennis.

“For 25 years, the College Showcase has been a great opportunity for students who want to play on a college tennis team, but don’t know where, or how to get there,” said Julie Bliss, director of competition and player development for USTA/Eastern. “And, we enjoy helping students learn about the opportunities that are out there and get noticed by college coaches.”

One local student/athlete, Cory Seltman from Commack High School, was on hand in hopes of getting an idea of what the whole process entails.

“I came here to get a feel about the whole process and see what options are out there for me,” said Seltman. When asked if he felt attending the event was worth it he replied, “It was definitely worth it. My opinion has completely changed as now I just want to find a college that fits me personally. I don’t care if it’s Division I, II or III ... I don’t care as much about the level of the tennis team anymore as much as whether the school and team are in fact the right fit for me.”

During the playing portion of the day, it might have been difficult at times for the players on the courts to impress the coaches as the lights went out on occasion in the bubble due to the lingering effects of the storm. You would think that would deter most people from continuing, but not these kids as many had travelled a good distance display their talents. Enduring these difficult elements showed the coaches what these young athletes were made of as they definitely left lasting impressions.

Michael Sarro

<p>Michael Sarro is director of business development for United Sports Publications Ltd. He may be reached by phone at (516) 409-4444, ext. 330 or e-mail <a href="mailto:michael@usptennis.com">michael@usptennis.com</a>.</p>