Belton, S.C. – Anderson University men's tennis senior Jerry Price was presented with the SC Men's Collegiate Big Jim Russell Award on Tuesday afternoon.
"Jerry is a phenomenal young man, said Director of Tennis at Anderson University Joey Eskridge. "He is a great ambassador for Anderson University Tennis as well as Anderson Athletics. He is always ready and willing to help anyone that he comes in contact with. He has had some injuries which have sidelined him most of his college career here at AU but has worked extremely hard to get back on the court to help our program. When not competing for AU Tennis, Jerry supports his teammates with his signature saying "Big Tennis" when one of his teammates wins a huge point or match. Jerry is an exceptional student-athlete and as a coach I have been blessed to have him be a part of my tennis program here at AU."
The South Carolina Men's Collegiate Championships were played in Belton October 4-6 with sixty-six players representing 11 state colleges and universities. The ITA sanctioned tournament, hosted by the Belton Tennis Association, is in memory of longtime volunteer and referee Jim Russell.
Each year the tournament presents the Big Jim Russell Award to a player based on his sportsmanship, attitude on and off the court and participation. Russell was a top college official who refereed the NCAA Men's Championships, the ACC Championships, the MEAC Championships, the All-American Championships and many other major events. He demanded sportsmanship and good behavior wherever he worked. Jim was a strong local volunteer who refereed the Palmetto Championships in Belton for almost 40 years, as well as serving both USTA South Carolina and the 9-state USTA Southern Section as President.
"Jerry is a great young man, and he obviously loves the game!, said Tournament Director Rex Maynard. " When we needed someone to play doubles with a player from another team, Jerry was willing. When the number one seed pulled out of the championship singles draw due to an injury, Jerry jumped right in to take his place, all the time knowing he would go up against the top players in the state. He competed well in all his matches, and always with a smile and great attitude. He's the type person and player Big Jim would admire….a great teammate who always gives his best and shows great sportsmanship. We're proud to recognize Jerry, not just for his sportsmanship and character in this one event, but for all of his junior and college tennis career!"
Anderson men's tennis will finish up its Fall portion of the season on Sunday, Oct. 20th when it hosts Savannah College of Art and Design. First-serve is scheduled for 1 p.m.