| By Steven Kaplan

As a preface to this blog, I will state the obvious, which is the opinions expressed here while perhaps shared by many are mine and mine alone.

I'm usually not a big fan of tennis politics and those who follow this blog know I'm even less enamored of tennis politicians. David Sickmen, publisher of United Sports Publications which includes Long Island Tennis Magazine and New York Tennis Magazine(the two largest free tennis magazines in the country) is no "politician," but he should consider a change.

David's mission is to grow the game of tennis, and by doing so, carve out a place for himself and his co-workers by serving the needs of the sport. His goal's are earnest and he has demonstrated over the course of time that he is an effective and vital facilitator of local tennis. As a club owner whose livelihood depends on the growth of tennis, I would vote to elect David to the presidency or any other position he would be willing to accept on the USTA Eastern Long Island Region Board in a second and it's difficult to imagine any descent over his ability to lead with honesty, integrity and foresight.

Politics serve at it's highest level with transparency and information. Get on board David, and as your first order of business, expand the reach of your publication so that local interest in tennis continues to grow, even as the local economy faces challenges.

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.