Alcaino named ATA Pro of the Year

By MICKEL PONTHIEUX / Sports Reporter

PELHAM – Pelham Racquet Club tennis professional Omar Alcaino received the Alabama Tennis Association’s Professional of the Year award at the ATA’s annual convention Feb. 16.

Pelham Racquet Club tennis professional Omar Alcaino was named the Alabama Tennis Professional of the Year Feb. 16. (Contributed)

Pelham Racquet Club tennis professional Omar Alcaino was named the Alabama Tennis Professional of the Year Feb. 16. (Contributed)

Alcaino has been the tennis professional at the Pelham Racquet Club for four years after coming from Inverness Country Club and has worked hard to develop tennis in the city according to Pelham Parks and Recreation Director Billy Crandall – an Alcaino student.

“Omar has done lessons for people that have never played before and puts them on teams to compete in tournaments across the state,” said Crandall.

Alcaino’s teams have advanced through the local and state tournament the last two years to a national tournament held in Palm Springs, Calif.

“I think he has shown us how to play and understand the game,” Crandall. “He teaches you the proper etiquette and the fundamentals of tennis.”

The ATA Tennis Professional of the Year award is given to the professional “that demonstrates a significant contribution to the game of tennis through their promotion of the USTA’s programs and their support to the USTA Mission Statement,” according to the ATA website.

Alcaino was nominated by one of his students, Elizabeth Hawkins for the award.

“Omar has been my team captain and my inspiration for almost two years,” Hawkins said in her nomination letter to the ATA. “In the time that I have known and played with him, I have grown exponentially as a player. I have watched him nurture the love of tennis in my teammates and others at the club. He has shown that his number one priority is not winning as much as he can, but is rather to promote fun and enhance the level of ability of his players.”