CLICK HERE FOR THE 20TH ANNUAL ATA SUMMER CAMP

NZINGHA BANKS
Tennis Profile

nzingha.banks@anguillatennis.com

Zingha.jpg 
 

Name:  Nzingha Banks

D.O.B: March 10th 1992

Nationality:  Anguillian

Country of Residency: Anguilla

High School: Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive
                     School

University: Washburn University


  

Tennis Training:
Anguilla Tennis Academy (ATA)
www.anguillatennis.com/players

www.facebook.com/anguillatennis

Tennis Experience:
ATA Summer Camp 2001- 2006 (5 years)

ATA After School Program 2010 to present

Community Service:
Volunteer tennis coach at Anguilla Tennis Academy

Major:
Undecided

Favorite Tennis Player:
Serena Williams

 

My Journey through the ATA

 
I started playing tennis at the age of six.  By that time I was well-drilled in the martial arts, and while the thrill of obtaining another Tae Kwon Do  belt was exciting, it could not match up to the highly anticipated annual Tennis Summer Camps. Every year after the excitement of Christmas had waned; we lived for first three weeks in July, which were devoted to tennis, tennis and more tennis! The first two weeks would be at the “Dungeon” and “Palace” courts at the Webster Park, followed by International Week at the swanky resort courts at the western end of the island.  Every year Coach Mitch seemed to outdo himself, bringing down more experienced players and coaches from the US to help train and develop us.
 
Once Summer ended, however, we would put away our racquets and go back to our regular “programming” - school, Tae Kwon do, swimming, and seasonal school sports. So it was bliss, when after five years of “Summer Tennis”, the After School Program (ASP) was introduced.  “Summer Tennis” was now year-round! The After School Program separated the “seasonals” from the “potentials” and I was able to move from the Intermediates, to the Tournament Group.
After eight years in the Program, our Tournament Group members were no longer the “little rascals”. We were the “forces to be reckoned with”, challenging the veterans. We were also among the first to experience the six beautiful courts at the Anguilla Tennis Academy (ATA).  With the opening of our Academy, the discipline, the passion and the motivation increased dramatically!
 
Tennis became such an integral part of my life that I panicked a little when I realized that I would soon be out of school and the After School Program and would be heading off to further my education. I could not imagine university without tennis.  Tennis had helped me focus and excel academically, so why my tertiary education should be confined to just academics? I therefore set my sights on playing collegiate tennis and it was with the help and encouragement of persons like Coach Jason Allen, Coach Chris Wade, Elijah Armstrong and of course, our beloved Coach Mitch Lake, that my smidgen of an idea evolved into a passionate goal of acquiring a tennis/academic scholarship. 
 
And so it was that upon graduation from Sixth Form in 2011 Coach Mitch offered me the opportunity work at the ATA and we began that challenging expedition through National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tennis. Those ten months became a period of phenomenal growth and inspiration.  It was an opportunity for me to hone my skills and give back to the ATA.  Yes, the five hours per day, six-days-per-week training programme was rigorous and gruelling, but was all geared towards developing the physical and mental toughness that I needed to achieve my goal. 
 
It gave me privilege of working with some very experienced Coaches and Trainers. There was Coach Christine Kim who helped me to increase my confidence and motivation.  Coach Dale Powers was instrumental in helping me to focus on the basics, and keep it simple; while the “Master of Touch”, Coach George, worked on helping me develop “crafty hands”.  There was Coach Margot Carter, who provided a dose of reality about the NCAA and world of tennis.  She helped to guide us through the college recruitment process and helped increase my desire and determination in the process. And then there was Coach Louis Price who drilled and guided me on the importance of developing the complete fitness and wellness necessary for any high performance athlete. Finally, there were the Coaches at T BAR M, like Brian Poynter, Joey Rive, Ron Mercado, Ann Smith, and Sydeny Bwalya who encouraged and helped us through the final stage of my preparation.
 
After months of exploring numerous universities and programs, training and praying, it all came down to Friday, the 13th of July when the two College Coaches visited me at the T BAR M Academy in Dallas, where Coach Chris had been prepping me, fine-tuning my technique. I played first for Coach Steve Fluke of University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) who immediately offered us an athletic scholarship. And then came Coach Dave Alden of Washburn University in Kansas.  I was serving when he walked in and said “Yup! That’s the girl!” and at the end of my tryout he offered us a full-ride scholarship (tennis and academic)!
 
Today, I am a “Lady Blue Netter” of Washburn University Women’s Tennis Team, majoring in Marketing and Information Systems. I feel truly blessed. My journey through the ATA has truly been a life-changing one. It has helped me to develop as a tennis player and as a rounded individual.  For this I am thankful.  I am particularly delighted that I have also had the opportunity to work with the children in the After School Program and I hope that I can be a positive example for them and inspire them to achieve their goals. My thanks go out to my ATA Team, Coach Mitch, Coach Chris Wade, Coach George, Coach Vallan, Coach Denny, Coach Marvin Hazell, “Avernista” and Denise, who continue to support me. I feel blessed to be part of such a wonderful team and will certainly do my best to make us all proud. Advantage ATA! Advantage Nzingha!