| By Steven Kaplan

I think it's important to disclaim here that as always, this blog is my singular candid viewpoint and I am neither encouraged nor censored by the editors.

The Mission of the USTA is to "Promote and Develop the Game of Tennis." The first Strategic Priority they list to achieve this goal is "Community Tennis Development." This is a worthwhile agenda, and we should all support this concept if we love tennis and wish to see it flourish locally.

The most avid supporter of tennis in the Long Island tennis community that I can think of is this publication, Long Island Tennis Magazine. The core values of Long Island Tennis Magazine are integrity, inclusiveness, excellence, commitment and teamwork accountability. They don't always achieve these high ideals but they strive. I plagiarized these "core value" by the way from usta.com because these are the USTA stated values. The question that I have here is: Why doesn't The USTA embrace this publication with the support it deserves when they have such a complimentary and synergistic mission? By "support," of course, I mean grant money, and it's long overdue.

Long Island Tennis Magazinegrows and promotes tennis on Long Island and the failure of the USTA to fund them is not what I would call "accountability."

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.