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Mitchell named National winner of Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award

Maddie Mitchell, shown with coach Christina Klein, went 16-3 in singles. She led the Vaqueros to a 14-0 WSC season and their first conference title since 2001.
Maddie Mitchell, shown with coach Christina Klein, went 16-3 in singles. She led the Vaqueros to a 14-0 WSC season and their first conference title since 2001.

SBCC's Maddie Mitchell has been selected as the National winner of the Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership & Sportsmanship Award.

She played No. 5 and 6 singles and No. 3 doubles for the women's tennis team that went unbeaten in conference. SBCC was 17-4 this season, went 14-0 in WSC play to capture its first conference title in 18 years and reached the Southern Cal Regional semifinals. Mitchell was one of three Vaqueros who were undefeated in conference action.

Mitchell is a sophomore from Memorial High in Houston, Texas. She played for the Vaqueros in 2018 and 2019, helping them to a 31-9 record.

The Arthur Ashe Jr. Award is given annually by the ITA to collegiate student-athletes who have shown great achievements on and off the court. A select group of accomplished student-athletes have been honored in this way since 1982. Ashe himself inaugurated the award and personally made the presentations until his tragic passing in 1993.

"What a tremendous accomplishment to have Maddie recognized on the national level, beating out what I am sure were many very qualified candidates," said SBCC Director of Athletics Rocco Constantino. "This is a tremendous accomplishment on so many levels and in my opinion, the fact that Mr. Ashe established this award himself makes it even more meaningful.

"Congratulations to Maddie and to Coach Christina Klein who mentored Maddie and nominated her for the award."

The award takes into account a player's tennis accomplishments, scholastic achievements and extracurricular endeavors, and recognizes players who excelled on and off the court as Ashe did during his life. Sportsmanship, leadership and character are important criteria, as is giving back to the community.

Mitchell was selected as a Regional winner of the Ashe Award during the banquet for last month's CCCAA State Tournament.

"I nominated Maddie for the award as she is respectful and holds a standard of work ethic that every student should follow," said SBCC women's tennis coach Christina Klein. "She is an example to her teammates on how you can both excel in the classroom and on the court. Maddie has been a leader for our team this past year and is able to see the bigger picture, acting as the glue to the team to keep everyone together. On the court, Maddie competes in a respectful manner with her teammates and her opponents alike.

"Maddie has made the Presidents Honor Roll two years in a row and has maintained a high GPA while playing tennis. I think she won the national award because she displayed excellence on the court this year, leading us to a conference championship and at all times competed with class, sportsmanship and honor."