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Illinois Native Nicholas Huang Receives Dwight F. Davis Memorial Scholarship

July 28, 2014 01:23 PM

 USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), recently awarded 49 high school students from across the country a variety of college scholarships.  The USTA/Midwest Section has two winners including Nicholas Huang of Geneva, Ill. who received the Dwight F. Davis Memorial Scholarship.

Nicholas_Huang_-_Finalization_PhotographThe Dwight F. Davis Memorial Scholarship awards $10,000 to two high school seniors who have performed with distinction and have actively participated in extracurricular activities, community service and an organized tennis program.  The award is named for Dwight Filley Davis, who began playing tennis at the age of 15 in 1894.  In 1900, the year he graduated from college, Davis purchased a commemorative silver bowl as a prize for an international lawn tennis competition, marking the birth of the Davis Cup.  Davis became president of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association in 1923.  His grandson, Dwight F. Davis III, created the scholarship to honor his grandfather’s achievements and contributions to tennis.

“As a recipient of the Dwight F. Davis Memorial Scholarship, I am extremely humbled to be associated with a family who has gone to great lengths to positively impact the sport of tennis,” said Huang.  “Representing the Davis family and the values they enforce is increasingly important to me as I wish to be best role model I can be for younger players.”

With that in mind, Huang has expanded his involvement in the game – beyond that of just being a player - during the past several years.

“Although I have participated in numerous community tennis programs, the aspect I am most proud of is getting involved in different areas of the sport.  Over the last few years, I had the privilege of viewing the sport from the perspective of a player, coach and tournament organizer,” said Huang.  “I firmly believe the opportunity to view tennis from different angles has further strengthened my love for the sport and cemented it as a major influence in my life.”

Huang started playing the sport at the age of four and has never looked back.  However, he does admit that there have been difficult times through the years.

“While I never stopped loving the sport, there were times in my past when I wanted to give up,” he said.  “Tennis is a sport of both physical and mental toughness that requires the most devoted of athletes.  Receiving a scholarship associated with tennis has shown me that my hard work has paid off and there is much more to the sport than just the narrow concept of winning.”

Huang admits that he was surprised when he found out he had won the scholarship, especially knowing that there were so many other well-qualified candidates.

“I was taken by surprise but of course was thrilled with the end result.  Knowing the wide range of highly-qualified candidates who applied, I was shocked at the results!  Having now had time to soak in the outcome, I am extremely humbled that the scholarship committee chose me as a recipient and ultimately a person worthy of representing the USTA and its historic and influential donors,” he said.

The scholarship money will be used to help cover expenses at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind., where Huang will begin his freshman year in the fall.  In addition to the financial assistance the award provides, Huang believes winning the scholarship also has helped his mental health.

“This award provided me with a much-needed boost of confidence that will help in the transition into college life.  Having chosen to attend Butler University, I am extremely excited to represent the Bulldogs both on and off the court,” he said.

As he reflects back on his tennis career, Huang describes how he has matured through the years and how his concept of the game as changed.

“As a young player, my primary thought was doing my best to keep the ball over the net, in the green boxes and away from my opponent; winning was everything.  Now, as a more mature player, I enjoy the increasingly complex aspects of the sport such as shot selection, court patterns and mental toughness.  Each time I step onto the court, I peel away another layer and discover a new dimension.  This constant change is what draws me back to tennis time and time again,” he said.