| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

USTA Eastern will conclude the year at its Annual Conference from January 27-29 at the Renaissance Hotel in White Plains, where it will honor and celebrate the people who have had an impact on our tennis community.

Among those who will be honored are several Long Islanders, both juniors and adults, for the work and dedication they have shown.

One of the most prestigious awards is the George Seewagen Award, which is given to a USTA Eastern teaching professional who “exemplifies excellence in competition, sportsmanship and love of the game”. This year, it will be presented posthumously to Howie Arons, who we lost this year.

Arons, owner-operator of Great Neck Estates Tennis in Kings Point for 10 years, was a beloved tennis coach to both children and adults.  He had a successful 36-year coaching career of the Cardozo Boys Tennis Team in Queens, with 582 career wins against only 51 defeats. His teams won 18 New York City Championships. Arons received the Vitas Gerulaitis for the Love of Tennis Award from the USTA Long Island Region in 2015.

“He showed so much pride in wanting to advance the love of the game for the people who play here and work here, and wanted to share that with everybody. It’s our job to continue his legacy,” said Brian Stein, who will be one of the people taking over the Great Neck Estates tennis program. “He was never just a coach or a boss-type figure…he was always more of a friend. I knew him as a teacher in high school, and the love of the game he instilled in me helped me as I got through college. In my early 20s, he offered me a job to teach part-time and I took him up on it. From then, he was more than a friend, but also a mentor.”

Click Here to see the full list of award winners.