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Collin County’s Hume, Chicago’s Higgins receive James O' Hara Sargent
Sportsmanship Awards presented by Rolex Watch USA


MOBILE, Ala. – Hume, a sophomore at Collin County Community College and Kendra Higgins, a sophomore at the University of Chicago received the 2009 James O' Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards presented by Rolex Watch USA Saturday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Small College Tennis Championships presented by the USTA.

The James O' Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards go to players who display outstanding sportsmanship and exemplify the spirit of college tennis during the course of the ITA National Small College Championships hosted by the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile. The award is given in memory of Jim Sargent, former Media Manager for Rolex Watch USA, who was involved in a fatal car accident in 2000. He was a great friend of college tennis, an ITA All American who competed with outstanding success and sportsmanship at Lynchburg College, and afterwards continued as a special partner to the ITA in his role with Rolex.

In addition to displaying outstanding sportsmanship, Hume, who hails from Johannesburg, South Africa and Higgins, from Vero Beach, Florida, also had strong performances this week.

Hume lived up to the lofty expectations of being the No. 1 seed in the JUCO men’s singles draw defeating the defending JUCO men’s singles champion, Cledson Carvalho of Laredo, 7-5, 6-3. Last year, the highly-touted freshman finished second in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings and looks to easily surpass the impressive debut he displayed last year.

“To me I think sportsmanship means not only being nice to everyone around you, including your opponent, but to really have fun out there and truly enjoy it,” said Hume. “When you do face adversity, it can be tough but be sure to have a strong mind and keep yourself calm.”

Higgins, who also entered the tournament with high expectations, was seeded No. 1 in doubles and No. 2 in singles and was dealt a great amount of highs and lows throughout the tournament. Higgins reached today’s Division III singles finals match today, eventually falling to Chapman’s Elizabeth Lewis, 7-6 [5], 6-4. In doubles action, Higgins and Chrissy Hu, who won the NCAA Division III Doubles title just five months ago provided the tournament’s most surprising upset, not only losing to an upstart doubles team from The College of New Jersey in the first round, but also knocked off by Lorne McManigle and Zahra Dawson of Emory, finishing in seventh-place in the Division III women’s doubles.

“Everyone here is the best of the best, and obviously we wanted to come out and win but I think we just came out a little flat,” said Higgins. “Until the regionals, we haven’t really played together since the NCAA’s and with the added expectations, it put a little pressure on us. It was a great learning experience for us to find out what we need to accomplish to defend our title at the NCAA’s.”

“To me sportsmanship means showing respect for your opponent and acknowledging their success, even if it is a simple gesture such as clapping my hands with my racket after they hit a good shot, said Higgins”.

These championships, presented by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), are being hosted by the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center, the world's largest public tennis facility, for the third consecutive year.

This event, administered by the ITA, dates back to 1986 and determines national champions for NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College men’s and women’s singles and doubles during the first two-and-a-half days of play. Those champions then compete to become the overall national small college champs (for all divisions) on October 17-18 in the ITA “Super Bowl” of Small College Tennis