The 2017 Arthur Ashe Weekend was an opportunity for the ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winners to experience New York City and give back by volunteering their time on Arthur Ashe Kids' Day.

The 10 recipients arrived in New York on Friday, August 25 and were treated to a walking tour of the city by ITA's CEO, Tim Russell. The tour began at the Grand Hyatt and ended at Rare Bar and Grill.

On Saturday, the award winners helped youth in the community learn more about the sport of tennis at Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, the largest single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event in the world.

The award winners were honored at a banquet dinner on Saturday night at Osteria Laguna, which included guest speakers Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President, Eric Butorac, USTA Director, Professional Tennis Operations And Player Relations, and former Arthur Ashe recipient Megan Moulton-Levy.

From left to right: Yonas Woldetsadik, Christian Blodig, John Taylor Champion, Aman Manji, Monica Robinson, ITA CEO Tim Russell, Ana Marija Banic, Chris Eubanks, Clarisa Colling, Samantha Mae Coyiuto, Jessica Emoto

The ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. This award which dates back to 1982, goes to NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements. This year's winners took some time to say what the award and Arthur Ashe's legacy mean to them.

Division 1 Men: Christopher Eubanks, Georgia Tech

A member of the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board, Eubanks has helped coordinate and execute events such as the Tech Beautification Day and the Michael Isenhour Toy Drive. He volunteers in the athletic communications office and on men’s basketball game days, and volunteers at Washington Park’s Volley Against Violence. Eubanks was awarded the USTA/ITA Sportsmanship Award at the 2016 USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships. He hasn’t lost a match at home in two seasons. Eubanks has been in the Top 10 of the Oracle/ITA rankings since April 2016, reaching a career-high of No. 4 this season.

Division 1 Women: Monica Robinson, University of Notre Dame

Robinson was awarded the Byron V. Kanaley Award, which is the most prestigious award given to a Notre Dame student-athlete. The award is based on an athlete who has been the most exemplary as a student and leader. She also earned the Francis Patrick O’Conner Award, which goes to students/athletes who most embody the spirit of Notre Dame. Robinson was the only student-athlete to receive both awards. Robinson’s time spent with the team’s adopted young cancer patient, Sophia, has been amazing. On the court, has a career record of 73-46 in singles and 61-52 in doubles.

Division 2 Men: Christian Blodig, Southwest Baptist University

A business management major, Blodig is set to graduate in December of 2017 with highest honors. He’s earned a Top 25 national doubles ranking, and a Top 10 regional ranking in both singles and doubles. Blodig was the team captain, their leader, and assisted the team in finishing in the top 4 at the Division II NCAA nationals. He is also a member of Delta Mu Delta and the Alpha Chi Honor Society. Blodig was awarded the Sportsmanship Award for the MIAA Conference in 2015.

Division 2 Women: Ana Marija Banic, Dallas Baptist University

An ITA Scholar-Athlete in 2015 and 2016, Banic has been named to the Heartland Conference President’s Honor Roll in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, and has earned Dean’s Academic Honor List recognition five times. While at Lewis University, she was a SAAC representative. On the court, she’s currently ranked No. 10 in the South-Central Region in singles and No. 5 in doubles. Banic was recognized as the 2017 Outstanding Senior-of-the-Year for the Heartland Conference and was the 2017 Dallas Baptist University Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Division 3 Men: Aman Manji, Emory University

This past fall, Manji accomplished something only one Emory player has ever done, and that’s to win the Division III singles championship at the ITA Oracle Cup. Manji is one of the top players in Division III but his greatest contribution is not what he’s done on court, but rather, how he has demonstrated integrity on and off the court. Manji has garnered much respect from his opponents and opposing coaches across Division III. Last year, Manji was the first Emory player to win the ITA Atlantic South Regional Arthur Ashe Award. Manji is an incredibly unselfish young man; among his teammates he has become the voice of reason and support.

Division 3 Women: Samantha Mae Coyiuto, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges

Coyiuto has compiled a 63-26 career record, and played anywhere from No. one to four singles, and all three doubles positions. Coyiuto has a cumulative 11.785 GPA (on a 12.0 scale), has been a three-year team captain and been a vital member of the culture, leadership and success of the program despite battling injury after injury. Above all her on court accomplishments is the amount Coyiuto gives back to everyone she encounters. As covered in her NCAA Champion feature, Coyiuto has already written and published five books; founded a creative writing workshop for high school students, as well as an entire library, back in her home country of the Philippines. She is a 2017 Pomona-Pitzer Female Scholar-Athlete and a 2013-17 SCIAC All-Conference honoree.

JUCO Men: John Taylor Champion, Meridian Community College

Champion helped set up and administrated MCC’s Street Strut for Breast Cancer. He has volunteered with Special Olympics bowling, and recently, Special Olympics track and field day at MCC. He’s helped organize and collect items for the victims of the Louisiana 1,000-year flood. Champion works tirelessly at Faith Baptist Church during MCC’s “My College Cares” day. He’s a Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society officer and an MS/USA All-Academic Team First Team and Coca-Cola Gold Scholarship recipient. On the court, Champion is 17-4 in doubles and was selected as a team captain this season.

JUCO Women: Clarisa Colling, Orange Coast College

Colling has been Orange Coast’s leader and team captain the last two years. Not only does she lead on the court, successfully competing at No. 1 singles and doubles, but she also leads by example in the classroom with a strong GPA. She was the team’s Most Valuable Player each of the past two seasons. In addition, she helped guide the team to the CCCAA Scholar Team Award, by attaining the highest combined point total among all women’s tennis programs in the state of California with regards to team GPA and athletic performance. This was accomplished with the women’s team achieving a 3.39 team GPA and 13-3 record on the courts.

NAIA Men: Yonas Woldetsadik, Lewis-Clark State College

In each of his three years at LCSC, Woldetsadik has been involved in a variety of on- and off-campus community service projects. This year, the highlights include his coordination of a blood drive in the Fall semester and taking the co-lead role in TEAM IMPACT, which unites sick kids with college teams. Woldetsadik immediately formed a bond with Eli, who was drafted to be an honorary member of the tennis programs. In addition, Woldetsadik has spent the last few summers working at a boys’ camp in Maine, providing him an opportunity to enhance his leadership skills.

NAIA Women: Jessica Emoto, Tabor College

Emoto has helped run six local high school tennis tournaments, organized the Social Justice Week and Anti-Human Trafficking 5K Run, has run booths at the Oasis Special Education School Fall and Spring festivals, has volunteered to help with Main Street Ministries Food Bank, visited patients at Parkside Homes for Senior Living, helped with several Red Cross Blood Drives, read to elementary students in Hillsboro and Marion, and helped pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child. She is a two-time NAIA Academic All-American, a three-time KCAC Scholar-Athlete. She has been on the Tabor College Dean’s List as a freshman, sophomore, and junior.

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