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Recalling Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program Founders Bill Brown and Claud Cargill

Photo credit: HJTEP

Harlem commemorates its tennis sanctuary.

The Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program raised almost $1 million at its 52nd Annual Gala on May 13 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City.

HJTEP establishes champs in tennis education and health, bringing tennis to youth from high-risk, low-income urban areas and uses chances for self-development, stressing education and a favorable code of habits.

The Harlem Tennis Center has actually been an important neighborhood resource, forming kids’ lives, for more than a half-century.

Two Harlem locals and tennis gamers, Bill Brown and Claude Cargill, established HJTEP in 1972 at the regional 369th Regiment Armory on 143rd Street.

Yonkers native Bill Brown was an accomplished gamer who played functions as an amateur at the Forest Hills and the U.S. National Championships, which would ultimately end up being the United States Open.

Brown and Cargill, who was among the very first African-American policeman in New York City, comprehended that couple of kids in the Harlem neighborhood had direct exposure to the mainly white-dominated sport. They saw tennis as a method for improvement and an effective character-builder that imparts respectful habits and factors to consider of others.

The set likewise understood that African-American tennis greats Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson, who had actually dipped into the Armory, would make fantastic good example for young gamers.

Bill Brown thought tennis might change young gamers and offer kids with a favorable activity.

Years before Nike taped its ground-breaking street tennis business where stars Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras established a make-shift court on a Manhattan street and rallied, Bill Brown brought tennis to the streets of Harlem.

“Tennis can open up [kids’] lives,” Bill Brown informed The New York Daily News in an interview. “Put a net across the street and get kids in the game. That will take back the street.”

Bill Brown and Claude Cargill provided tennis lessons and moneyed the new HJTEP, previous Knicks gamer Earl (“the Pearl”) Monroe assisted them bring in outdoors funds. Monroe and Bill Holloway, another tennis trainer, teamed with Mutual of New York (MONY) Financial Services to sponsor a yearly invitational competition to benefit the program. Earl the Pearl Monroe was a devoted tennis gamer, who often dipped into the 143rd Street Armory (Monroe was a serve-and-volleyer) before numerous knee surgical treatments required him to go back from playing.

But Cargill’s and Brown’s aspirations for their young gamers went much even more than the sport. In 1979, they released a Homework Club to offer tutoring and scholastic therapy. Their early focus on education has actually just grown over the last few years.

These days, the not-for-profit company opens a brand-new door for lots of urban kids and women, ages 6-18, to find out the video game of tennis. Since 1972 the numbers speak with its success with a 95% high school graduation rate, a 3.1 GPA, and 80% of graduates participating in college.

That’s evidence that the structure laid by Bill Brown and Claude Cargill stays strong in Harlem.


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