Trio of NAZ Professionals win USPTA Southwest Awards

Nicole Williams-Chambers – Star Award

28 Year USPTA Professional – Prior to arriving in the US on a full scholarship at Columbus State University, in Columbus Georgia, Nicole was one of the youngest certified tennis professionals in Cape Town, South Africa, where she was born. She and her doubles partner won the 1995 Rolex Regional DII title and brought home two NCAA Championships for Columbus State. After University, Nicole took a position at a 30 clay court tennis facility in Columbus, Georgia.  Her resume includes Head Professional at the Atlanta Country Club, Tennis Professional at Cooper Creek Tennis Center, Head Professional at Four Seasons Racquet Club, where she developed and ran the Elite Tennis Academy, Head Professional at Flagstaff Athletic Club, to current position as Director of Racquet Sports at Forest Highlands Golf Club.  Nicole started playing pickleball in 2013 and started the program at Forest Highlands in 2014.  

Chris Howard – Proud Award
Chris has been a USPTA Elite Tennis Professional for over 27 years, written a weekly tennis column in the Prescott Daily Courier covering local, state, southwest, national and world tennis news since 1993 He helped start the Prescott Area Tennis Association in 1991 – as well as being the father and grandfather to 4 kids and 11 grand children.
At the age of 40 he re-entered the world of tournament play. He has consistently been ranked nationally with lifelong friend Kelly Davidson.  Chris coaches Andrew Bogdanov, who is the 38th ranked quad wheelchair player in the world who represented the United States in Portugal, Indian Wells and the US Open. Andrew has said Howard “gave me the opportunity to be active, healthy, and competitive” and has had a “tremendous impact” on his life.   “He doesn’t just teach tennis, he changes lives,” said Bogdanov.  

Andrea Meyer – Laurie Martin High School Coach of the Year
Girls’ JV and Varsity coach of Mingus Union Marauders in Cottonwood for 25 years who looks at a successful season beyond the wins and losses.  Andrea supports a no-cut program and prides herself in creating enjoyment of the game.  Andrea makes it a priority to also educate parents as well about buying racquets and proper spectator etiquette. She makes log books wherein the girls record their reflections on each match and has the team motto printed on shirt sleeves: ‘Bring the B.E.A.S.T to court’. B is for body language, E is for energy, A stands for attitude, S for self-talk, and T is for team. Players evaluate themselves after each match as to what part of BEAST they used best as they played.

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