Oni Jones is a 2016 graduate from Whitney Young High School in Chicago, IL, and will be attending Jackson State University in Jackson, MS, in the fall.
In tennis, to develop a solid game, one needs consistent and proper coaching. At age 10, I experienced an injury and did not return to play until around 12 years old. I've been told that I am a coachable player and very susceptible to anything taught to me. During the years before Lonnie Wooden began coaching me, I do not believe that I was receiving proper coaching. It seemed as if I could never get a good grasp on basic shots; and, no matter how much I practiced, I never could sustain consistency. I started working with Coach Lonnie when I was 16, and my game immediately turned around. Nothing happens in a day but I realized that my issue was the way I was being taught. Coach Lonnie understood that every student cannot be instructed the same. He used the skills I already had and enhanced them all in just a little over a year. This new way of learning helped me become the player I am today. I have now committed to Jackson State University to play tennis on a full scholarship.
Anthony Kendall is a 2016 graduate of Crown Point High School. In the spring of his senior year, Anthony completed an internship with Coach Lonnie and finished two of the initial Professional Tennis Registry coaching certifications. In the fall, Anthony will be attending Marian University in Indianapolis. He plans to major in Business-Marketing with a minor in Sports Management.
Anthony is a recognized team player in Northwest Indiana high school tennis. As the team captain he was able to encourage others to play tennis, showing them the ethics and perseverance it takes to be a winner. As a varsity player, Anthony played #2 Singles with a four-year zero-loss record in the Duneland Conference, several IHSTECA recognitions and was selected as a member of the Indiana State Senior All-Star Team. In 2015-2016, he achieved the rank of the #1 18-year-old in the Northern Indiana (NIN) USTA District and was a member of the NIN team for the Midwest Team Cup competition. His work ethic, leadership, and competitive edge earned him a college scholarship on the nationally ranked NAIA Marian University Men’s Tennis team.
Anthony began his tennis career as a junior high player, reaching out to Coach Lonnie to help prepare himself for high school play. “Coach Lonnie taught me the value of practice. He taught me how to play the overall game and pushed me to succeed each and every single time we met on a court. I always knew he believed in me, teaching me to never give up and that there was always room for improvement. He helped me work on my focus, not only on the court, but off the court as well. He always kept me motivated to work hard. He coached me to never quit, no matter what the outcome was – there was always something valuable to take away from the match.”
Culver Military Academy (2012-2016)
Cum Laude. In the fall, Josh will be attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
Josh is a graduate from Culver Military Academy in June 2016. He played 3 singles Sophomore, Junior, and Senior year. They were state quarter finalist Junior and Senior year. Josh is not planning to commit to a college to play tennis but he looks forward to continue playing every time he comes home as well as on the club team at the university he attends. Even though he will not continue playing varsity tennis, he will continue to use the lessons and values that he has learned from Coach Lonnie. He taught me numerous, unforgettable life lessons - for example, persistence, hard-work, and respect. Even though he began playing tennis in the middle of his 8th grade year with his undeniable coaching talent, he was able to become the 3rd best player on the team by Sophomore year. Moreover, Coach Wooden has taught me that visualization is the key to success. You have to not only believe you can do something, but imagine and picture yourself actually doing it.