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.” 


Georgia Northwestern Offers "Free Leap Day"

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) is offering "Free Leap Day" to help community members earn their GED diploma. On Feb. 29, any student or potential student may take any of the GED practice tests free of charge. Call one of the following centers to schedule an appointment.   Catoosa County – Ringgold – (706) 965-6155 extension 7 Chattooga County ... (click for more)

UTC Students To Be Honored At Stophel Scholarship Reception Thursday

Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. will host the Chattanooga business community to honor and recognize 10 UTC students who have shown dedication and excellence in their studies.  The Stophel Scholars program connects students to leaders in Chattanooga’s business community and a reception will be held Thursday from 5:30-7 p.m. at Chambliss Conference Center, Liberty ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Schools Closed Tuesday Due To Icy Road Conditions

Due to icy road conditions in the mountain areas, Hamilton County School will be closed today. School age child care will be also be closed. Twelve month employees will report by 10 a.m. Marion, Grundy and Polk schools are closed Tuesday due to the inclement weather. Hamilton County Schools will be on a two-hour delay on   Tuesday . School Age Child Care ... (click for more)

Brandon Bettis, 25, Arrested For Home Invasion; 2 Other Suspects Being Sought

Brandon Bettis, 25, was arrested after a home invasion early Monday morning, and two other suspects are being sought. Chattanooga Police responded to the 1100 block of Thomas Lane at 6:30 a.m. on the report of a home invasion robbery.  The suspects entered the home of the victims, James Shrum, 47, and Hillary Schooley, 25.   The victims were wakened and threatened ... (click for more)

The City Failed To Watch The Chattanooga History Museum Dollars - And Response (3)

The tell tale signs of the History Museum's folly have been evident for years. When I was a former member of City Council I interviewed Dr. Daryl Black, Ph.D. to determine if I should argue for or against the annual funding of his organization. His interview, the multi-year history of administrative non-performance (despite consistent repetitive funding), and a review of the organizational ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Momma Bears Roar

If I could count Hamilton County’s best educators on one hand, Normal Park Elementary Principal Jill Levine would be the biggest finger. What she and her faculty and a dazzling commitment from both her students and parents have accomplished is an educational dream. I am told people literally move to North Chattanooga just so their children will be zoned for the award-winning school. ... (click for more)