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Long Island Winds Big at USTA Eastern Section

Herb Harris (left), LI Volunteer of the Year, and Daniel Burgess, Fran Osei Community Service Awardee, show their awards
February 6, 2018 12:34 PM
From left: Mike Pavlides (past USTA LI President), Keith Kambourian, George Seewagen honoree, and Jonathan Klee, USTA LI Region president
Junior Daniel Pellerito (left) is joined by Jonathan Klee, USTA LI Region president
(from left): John Klenner, USTA Eastern president, Nancy McShea, Lifetime Achievement Awardee, and Jenny Schnitzer, executive director, USTA Eastern
USTA LI Regional Board

The USTA Eastern Section recognized several locals for their outstanding contributions to the tennis community at the annual USTA Eastern Awards Dinner.

Herb Harris

Long Island Region Volunteer of the Year

Herb has been a member of the LI Regional board for many years and is the longtime chair of its Grants and Community Development committees. In his role as grants chair, Herb has been directly responsible for growing the game of tennis across Long Island. He has helped community tennis organizations to apply for money to launch or expand programs and bring tennis to new communities and groups across the Region. In addition to his focus on grants, Herb chaired the most recent LI Nominating Committee and currently serves on the USTA Eastern Sectional Nominating Committee. He was the recipient of the 2008 USTA Long Island Region Arthur Ashe Multicultural Award.

Daniel Burgess

Fran Osei Community Service Award (given for long time, hands-on contributions to the development and growth of tennis in the community including schools, parks and rec, CTAs and NJTLs)

Daniel’s name has been synonymous with Long Island tennis for many years. In addition to serving as LI Regional President for six years and continuing to serve as a Board member, Daniel shares his love for the sport with any and every Long Islander who wants to pick up a racquet. He has been instrumental in introducing tennis programs to minority communities across Long Island and was recognized by the LI Board in 2003 and 2010, receiving its Arthur Ashe Multicultural Award for his tireless volunteerism which has made an impactful difference in the lives of children and adults within the community of Freeport, the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County and all of Long Island. He has organized countless free clinics in the parks, at fairs and USTA sponsored events to promote the growth of tennis in the community.

Heather Corriel

10 and Under Tennis Award (Awarded to a person or organization who has done an outstanding job promoting 10 and Under Tennis in the Section)

While working as an assistant teacher in the Oceanside School District, Heather, a tennis player from a young age, launched a pre-school tennis program. After receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents and children, she continued to grow the program to include the kindergarten class; these programs continue to this day. She teaches a Kindergarten-First grade tennis program at Long Beach Recreation and has grown the program which is now offered two nights a week. Heather was one of the first on Long Island to register and become an approved Net Generation provider. She was the recipient of the 2015 USTA LI Ten-and-Under Tennis Award.

Keith Kambourian

George Seewagen Award (given to a USTA Eastern teaching professional who exemplifies excellence in competition, sportsmanship and love of the game)

Keith is Co-Owner of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, best known for its renowned Junior Development Program, which includes lessons, instructional workshops, match play programs, USTA 10 and under and Junior Team Tennis programs. Keith was ranked top 30 nationally in the Boys' 18's and played for Duke University, where he received a full scholarship and was ranked nationally among the best collegiate players. The former director of the Reebok “Urban Youth Tennis Academy” in Flushing, N.Y., Keith has been a long-time coach for more than 200 nationally ranked junior players, including state champions, NCAA Division 1 champions and tennis scholarship recipients. Keith's calm demeanor and level-headed approach to junior tennis ensure that students develop and maintain a positive and productive mental outlook and keep coming back for more. He is Treasurer and Board Member of Serve & Return, a not-for-profit that offers tennis programming to disabled veterans at the Northport VA Medical Center as a unique means of rehabilitating wounded veterans and helping them restore their self-confidence.

Nancy McShea

Lifetime Achievement Award (Awarded to a volunteer in recognition of years of dedicated service, while promoting and developing tennis in the community. This individual has made a great impact by spreading their passion of tennis, while touching the lives of many)

Nancy has dedicated her life to tennis and has been an extraordinary contributor to USTA Eastern’s work for years. She has spent decades writing about people in the game and was inducted into USTA Eastern's 2012 Hall of Fame in recognition of her editorial work. She has always felt that publicizing people in the game attracts new players, and to that end, has written over 2,500 tennis articles and connected with sports legends throughout the country. Nancy has received awards for her work as the public relations director/writer for USTA Eastern, was the managing editor/writer for Eastern Roundup and Passing Shot magazines, a copy editor/columnist for Tennis Week magazine, sectional reporter for Tennis USA and USTA, and columnist for Newsday and the Long Island Herald. She believes that everyone who earns a tennis ranking of any kind or who volunteers their time to energize the game is a star and deserves acknowledgement; she addressed this through USTA Eastern yearbooks that were so popular in the 80's and 90's.  

Junior Awards

USTA Eastern also celebrated the athletic achievements and sportsmanship of its leading junior tournament players during its Junior Awards Luncheon at the 2018 Eastern Tennis Conference.  Daniel Pellerito of Syosset received the Henry Benisch Scholarship Award. He will be playing college tennis at William and Mary. Also receiving an award was Finbar Talcott of Sea Cliff who won the Lt. Frederick M Scribner Jr Boys’ 18 Sportsmanship Award.