— Training Future US Open Champs —
New York, NY, September 8, 2019 – Amid the excitement of the US Open in New York City, tennis greats John and Patrick McEnroe joined Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA, to announce the first seven scholarship athletes on the Johnny Mac Tennis Project’s Team BNP Paribas Mac 1 roster on Saturday, September 7, 2019.
Back row: Patrick McEnroe, Matisse Farzam, Olivia Benton, Theadora Rabman, John McEnroe; Front row: Sebastian Sec, BNP Paribas US CEO Jean-Yves Fillion, Joseph Oyebog
This past March, the international bank and longtime tennis sponsor BNP Paribas joined forces with tennis greats John and Patrick McEnroe’s JMTP nonprofit, announcing the inception of the Team BNP Paribas Mac 1 program, backed by a yearly operating budget of $500,000. The program provides 10 young players ages 11-17, with a year of intensive tennis training through the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) at Sportime Randall’s Island in New York City, under the direct supervision of Patrick and John McEnroe. The program also increases access to local, national and international tournaments and assist players in preparing for the demands of collegiate and professional tennis.
International bank BNP Paribas has been a dedicated partner to world tennis since 1973. The BNP Mac 1 program joins the “BNP Paribas Young Talent Team” suite of programs, launched in May 2018 with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and the French Tennis Federation, and including the “BNP Paribas Kids Fête le Mur Team” partnership with Yannick Noah.
“We’re incredibly excited to partner with BNP Paribas, a loyal and longtime supporter of tennis around the world, to provide the opportunity for young Americans to succeed at the highest levels of the sport,” said John McEnroe, Co-Founder of JMTA and JMTP. “Growing tennis in America, and particularly in my hometown of New York City, is a passion of mine, and I’m grateful for the support that BNP Paribas is providing to these talented young players on the BNP Paribas Mac 1 team, who really are poised to become the next big names in the game.”
“The partnership between the Johnny Mac Tennis Project and BNP Paribas on the BNP Mac 1 program is a major step in our mission of providing opportunity to kids who might not otherwise have a chance to advance to the apex of this great sport,” said Patrick McEnroe, Co-Director of JMTA and President of JMTP. “This program will address a major challenge to many young American tennis hopefuls, the cost of training and high-level tournament play. John and I are delighted to be working with BNP Paribas to support youth tennis and help mint the next great American tennis champion.”
The BNP Paribas Mac 1 Team roster includes the following players. Information about each player is featured in the “Player Cards” section of JMTP website. (Click here to download full set of Player Cards, or on names below for individual cards):
§ Olivia Benton, 12, “This scholarship allows me to train and will help me not only with my pursuit of tennis, but throughout all aspects of my life.”
§ Sebastian Sec, 15, “I really don’t know where I would be without this scholarship. I would love to be able to play professional tennis, or even just play at a Division 1 college.”
§ Theadora Rabman, 14, “I love the John McEnroe Tennis Academy and could not be where I am today without it! I love how I can compete while still making amazing friends.”
§ Joseph Oyebog, 11, “Tennis is the most important thing in my future. I am so appreciate of the BNP Mac 1 scholarship because it allows me train more and with stronger, more developed players and it will enable me to travel to tournaments.”
§ Matisse Farzam, 12, “I’m always happy and feel at home on a tennis court. JMTA has helped me improve all aspects of my game and I love the atmosphere.”
§ Summer Chandler, 11, “The Johnny Mac Tennis Project has helped me pursue my tennis dream with access to courts, amazing trainers and really great coaches.”
§ Darren Huang, 12, “Receiving the BNP Mac 1 scholarship is a privilege and an honor. I will use it as motivation to be the best I can be, both in tennis and as a person”
Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA, added: “We are delighted to be supporting this program with the goal of developing tomorrow’s future tennis stars, and are honored to be partnering with Patrick and John to make this happen. This community-focused initiative is closely aligned with our many other tennis programs that use tennis to promote opportunity, equality and local engagement.”
Team BNP Paribas Mac 1 participants have been selected based on athletic criteria and financial need, as well as attitude, team-involvement and academic outcomes. The selection committee is composed of John McEnroe, Co-Founder of JMTA and JMTP and Mentor of the “Team BNP Paribas Mac 1”; Patrick McEnroe, President of JMTP and Co-Director of JMTA; and Lead Coach for the “Team BNP Paribas Mac 1”; Jordan Botjer, Executive Director of JMTP, Caryn Epstein, Head of Events and Sponsorships Americas at BNP Paribas. Scholarships are renewable annually at the discretion of the Selection Committee up to a maximum of 3 years.
PHOTO CAPTIONS (Credit: André Whitehead, NeON Photographers):
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