The July 2021 SPT Athlete Feature is Kevin Mackey. Kevin started playing tennis with SPT in 2009 when he was just 10 years old. When asked what his favorite part of SPT is, Kevin had this to say:
“It has been really great for me. SPT taught me how to play tennis by teaching me to swing better. The volunteers and coaches taught me a lot and it has been great to learn from them. I like to practice because they are fun. I also like to see my friends at special pops tennis and play in the tournaments.”
Kevin’s favorite SPT memories are hanging out with his friends and meeting new tennis partners. Kevin finished his freshman year in the ClemsonLIFE program and is currently working two jobs over his summer break. His favorite part of being a Clemson student is the classroom because he learns how to budget, use the ATM, as well as online grocery shopping. In his free time, he loves to go to the football games, golf, and bowling with friends. After Clemson, Kevin’s goal is to get a job, have a house to share with roommates, and continue to play tennis.
Kevin’s mom, Mary Ann Mackey, is also a site coordinator for SPT at the Sandy Spring training facility. When we asked about her favorite memories from SPT, she shared:
“Kevin has practiced with the group at Sandy Springs for several years. The group of athletes and volunteers that we have there are great. We’ve literally grown up with many of them. Seeing these athletes work hard, improve, and play in the Fall Classic, SPUD league and other tournaments has been so fun to watch. Favorite memories have always included the dance parties after the Fall Classic.”
“SPT has taught him a lot. He has learned good sportsmanship, patience, working hard to get better at something, and many more skills that translate into life as well.”
“SPT has been such a blessing to us. He would never be playing tennis if it weren’t for SPT. This has ended up being one of his biggest activities growing up and we love that he can play tennis for life.”
Jim Hamm said, “Kevin began with SPT in the early years without any tennis experience; but his commitment to being the best he could be has risen his level of play to the highest level offered by SPT. It is no surprise that Kevin has accomplished much on and off the tennis court. His work ethic and love of sports allows him to continue to strive for greater heights. His infectious smile causes the volunteers to really enjoy interacting with him. When asked to describe Kevin, I immediately think of nice person, competitive, and loves his family and friends. SPT is better because of what life enriching values athletes like Kevin bring to those that participate in our programs.”