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Matt DeVlieger Named Recipient of Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship

Thursday, May 27, 2010

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Calvin College junior Matt DeVlieger has received one of the highest honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. DeVlieger has been named the 2010 recipient of the ITA Division III Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship.

The ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. 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 JuCo men’s and women’s players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.

A native of Grand Rapids and a graduate of Northpointe Christian High School, DeVlieger’s life completely changed in December 2009, when he was paralyzed from his chest down in a tragic scuba diving incident in Florida. Prepared to be the No. 1 singles player this past year, Matt is anticipating his new role as student-assistant next season. He continues to recover in Florida and is already taking wheel-chair tennis lessons. With faith being first and foremost in his life, he has been able to maintain a positive outlook on life.

As the governing body of collegiate tennis, the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which is comprised of nearly 1,700 men’s and women’s varsity coaches representing over 1,200 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships and the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings for over 15,000 college varsity student-athletes at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA web site is: ITA Web site

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