Lee University Hosted 23rd Annual Kay McDaniel Summer Tennis Clinic

Friday, June 13, 2014
Kay McDaniel is pictured with her clinic instructors.
Kay McDaniel is pictured with her clinic instructors.

The 23rd annual Kay McDaniel Summer Tennis Clinic had over 400 registered participants, the most in the history of the event. The week was filled with free tennis lessons, prizes, certificates, group photos and special medals presented along the way. Kids ages 6-13 came from 25 cities in Tennessee to learn from the director Kay McDaniel and her staff of instructors. Ms. McDaniel is a former world-ranked professional tennis player. 

Ms. McDaniel captivated her audience by sharing inspiring personal stories of how she overcame difficult obstacles to reach the top echelon of professional world tennis. From age 11 she dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player. Her first tennis racquet was a Green Stamp racket where McDaniel collected over 10,000 stamps to obtain it. Her mother sewed all her tennis clothes until age 15 when top sponsors, such as Fila, Adidas, TAIL and Nike sponsored her tennis career. An early setback was the death of her tennis coach and later an injury threatened her pro career until God miraculously healed it. 

Ms. McDaniel went on to realize her dream by competing at tennis Grand Slams for six years against legendary players such as Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, and Steffi Graf. She rose to the top 35 in the world in singles and held a #20 world ranking in doubles. 

This year’s clinic theme was based on Genesis 39:2, “God was with Joseph.” Ms. McDaniel emphasized the importance of not giving up on your dreams. 

“Since we had so many kids we needed quality instructors, and this year we had 42 strong and committed instructors.” said Ms. McDaniel. “They return year after year, volunteering their time to this event. They are the real heroes of these clinics. I could not put this event on without their hard work.” 

Some of the awards given at the closing ceremony went to Caleb Hiddleson, a junior from Lee University who won the “2014 Most Inspiring Head Instructor” award for his exceptional work with the kids. Drake Reece received the “2014 Most Inspiring Junior Instructor” award for his hard work and service to the clinics. 

Daci Wilbanks and Tarrik Hamidi received medals from Ms. McDaniel for their “2014 Most Improved” tennis skills. Jonathan Anziano and Faith Lombard each earned the “2014 Most Christ-Like” medals. A special TAIL tennis skirt that Ms. McDaniel wore while competing at Wimbledon was given to Katelyn Lee for her “Most Promising” talent and a new tennis racquet was given to Brayden Conn for his “Most Promising” tennis abilities. 

The “Most Devoted Attendee” award went to Elias Corder who has attended Ms. McDaniel’s clinics for eight consecutive years - the most years possible. For the girls, Mary Elizabeth Nerren and Hannah Evans have both attended seven years.

After the award ceremony, a parent commented “This is an unbelievable experience for our community. Ms. Kay loves these kids and it shows in everything she does. Everyone was so motivating, caring, and high-spirited. We will be back every year!” 

Another couple said of the clinics, “What an encouraging environment. Everything was so organized and the kids just love Ms. Kay’s stories. She inspires us all!” 

Ms. McDaniel commented, “I want to thank Lee President Dr. Conn for his generosity and support of these tennis clinics. It’s a joy to give back to this wonderful game and to serve Christ to Cleveland and all the surrounding communities.” 


Lee University Welcomes New Faculty

Lee University welcomed 14 new faculty members this fall, including eight from among the Schools of Music, Nursing, and Religion, along with the Helen DeVos College of Education and the Squires Library.  Lenena Brezna joins the Lee faculty as a lecturer in voice. Prior to Lee, Ms. Brezna taught music appreciation and was a voice instructor at the University of Memphis. She ... (click for more)

Tennessee Treasury Department To Host Series Of Webinars On Saving For College

In celebration of College Savings Month, the Tennessee Treasury Department wants to help make college planning easier. Beginning Sept. 10, the department will host a series of free web-based seminars - or webinars - on topics related to college savings. These webinars will include information about the TNStars 529 College Savings Plan, which allows people to save money for children’s ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)