Today, Sunday, March 10, Chicago Public School Title VII program's Native Family Tennis Day, in partnership with the US Tennis Association, will be held at the Stockton Elementary Gym from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Participants who attend are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing. The event is open to all ages and no experience necessary.
On hand to help out will be tennis pro D'Wayne Begay, Navajo. Though, now in his fifties, Begay is still a nationally ranked tennis player and uses his skills as a teacher to provide opportunities for American Indian students to learn tennis and improve their academic, social and physical achievement, notes Native News Network.
To find Native Family Tennis Day, head here: Stockton Elementary Gym, 4420 North Beacon Street, parking is street only; use door -2, Chicago, Illinois 60640.
D'Wayne Begay is a dedicated and experienced USPTA professional. Since 1990, he has been ranked nationally in either singles and/or doubles in the men's 30- 55 divisions. He is also, a seven-time North American Indian Men's Singles Open Champion.
With expertise in junior development, wheelchair players and league teams, D'Wayne became a teaching professional because of his love for the game. "Becoming a tennis professional has been a lifetime dream," he says.
Begay is the Director of Tennis at Four Hills Country Club in Albuquerque, New Mexico In 2008, Four Hills Country Club received the USTA Southwest "Tennis Facility of the Year" for Begay's tennis programming. Begay has USPTA Specialist certifications in Wheelchair tennis and High Performance Coaching which he received from graduating from the USA High Performance coaches program. Certified as a USTA Recreational Coaches Workshop Trainer. He is working on establishing a 501c3, "Redbear Tennis Inc.", to introduce tennis to Native American youth around the country. He currently serves on the National USTA Diversity Committee, Chair of the SW USTA Task Force Committee, SW USTA Diversity committee member and the USTA Northern New Mexico Diversity Chair. He plans to continue learning and giving back to the sport of tennis.
In 1999, Begay was nominated to the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame and was President of the North American Tennis Association in 1980, '82 and '83. In 2007, Begay was awarded the USTA Northern New Mexico "Adult Player of the Year". In 2009, the City of Albuquerque awarded D'Wayne the "Spirit of Albuquerque Award", for his work with wheelchair players in his community.
Begay has also acted in six motion pictures, working with celebrities such as Kevin Costner, Sam Elliott, Melanie Griffith, Matt Damon, Jack Palance and Billy Bob Thornton