Luke Bolanos Selected for Prestigious ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Luke Bolanos (Pictured) Becomes the First PBA Tennis Player Selected as the South Region Winner of the Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award. Photo Courtes of: Lori Richards. Luke Bolanos (Pictured) Becomes the First PBA Tennis Player Selected as the South Region Winner of the Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award. Photo Courtes of: Lori Richards.

SKILLMAN, N.J.- The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) recently announced its annual award winners which included regional and national honorees for various awards. Palm Beach Atlantic University junior tennis player Luke Bolanos was selected as the South Region winner of the Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, becoming the first player from PBA to receive this distinct honor.

A native of Debary, Florida, Bolanos was nominated by head coach Chi Ly and selected from other nominees from various institutions throughout the southeastern United States at the NCAA Division II level.

The ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. In August the national winners are honored during a special ceremony hosted by the USTA during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day inside Ashe Stadium. This award which dates back to 1982, goes to NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.

Click Here to View the Entire Listing of ITA Winners

Part of the process in being considered for the award required Bolanos to write a support letter for his candidacy that is listed below.

I truly believe that there are many people in this world who could use one smile, one drop of sweat, or one gift to help them have hope and feel loved.  There are millions and millions of people in this world who are hurting, suffering, or not as fortunate as we are here in the United States and who do not have the same freedom or resources that we do. 

I believe that there is something that should be within our hearts that makes us want to go visit another country and nation to provide hope and a sense of love; there certainly is in my heart.  This is mainly due to my faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ, as He has placed the desire and passion in my heart to share Jesus’ love with others in other countries.

So far, I have been blessed with the opportunities and chances to be able to go to Guatemala three different times and once to Costa Rica.  On my three trips to Guatemala I have helped build a school dorm, a mission’s base, a house for natives in a village, and concrete structures for gathering water, called “pilas”.  Also in Guatemala, I have visited a village that still lives as civilization did 200 years ago and helped spread Christ’s love and hope to these people through bringing them gifts and spending time with them.

 I have been to Costa Rica to teach tennis with many different children and adults at various tennis clubs around the country, while also having the opportunity to share Christ’s love and hope through giving gifts.  This summer I will continue with my desire and passion of serving and helping others by going back down to Guatemala to help build a playground in the village of Pinalito, for the children there.

-Luke Bolanos


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