Fourth Annual Chase Return the Serve Fun Day Event to Take Place on Friday, July 14 at AEG's StubHub Center
Tennis Star Maria Sharapova To Join Current ATP Star Steve Johnson, Former Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Lewis and Many Others To Help First Break Academy Celebrate Day of Tennis
LOS ANGELES (July 13, 2017) – The Chase Return the Serve Fun Day event returns to Los Angeles for the fourth straight year on Friday, July 14, at AEG’s StubHub Center in Carson.
First Break Academy, in partnership with JP Morgan Chase Bank and the USTA Foundation, will serve as the local L.A. host of the event, which is a celebration of Chase’s continued commitment to the USTA Foundation and to the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network. The USTA announced earlier this week that the USTA Foundation, in partnership with Chase, is contributing $100,000 total to 10 NJTL chapters nationwide.
First Break Academy based in Carson was one of the 10 NJTL programs awarded a $10,000 grant from the USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the USTA.
Former World No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, a local Manhattan Beach resident and friend of First Break Academy, will be on hand for a short time to lend her support to the event on Friday.
“I love the game of tennis and anything that brings more kids into the game, and that’s what the Chase Return the Serve Fun Day event is all about,” Sharapova said. “I’m happy to be here, and show my support for First Break and their effort to give kids an opportunity to play.”
Orange County native and popular ATP pro Steve Johnson will join in the fun on Friday. Currently ranked No. 31 in the ATP World Tour rankings, Johnson said he’s happy to help out during the Chase Return the Serve Fun Day.
“First Break Academy has reached a lot of the local kids living right there in Carson, and every time I am there training it looks like everyone is having a great time,” Johnson said. “For a lot of current pros like me, we were once these kids. So to have a few pros come out to help during this event, and perhaps inspire a future generation of tennis players, is really a privilege.”
Joining fellow former Olympians Sharapova and Johnson on the courts Friday will be ATP stars Jared Donaldson (ATP ranked No. 67), and Southern California’s Ernesto Escobedo (No. 74), as well as 4X US Olympic medalist in Track & Field, Steve Lewis, and fellow track & field Olympians Danny Everett and Kevin Young and many others, including Carson Mayor Pro Tem Lula Davis-Holmes, who is currently serving her third term on the Carson City Council.
Opening Ceremonies to kick off the day will take place at the Velo Sports Center at StubHub Center. First Break Academy co-founders Rick Buchta and Peggy Bott chose to highlight the Velo Center as a theme for the day as it played host to the cycling events at the L.A. Games in 1984, and could be used as a potential site if Los Angeles was to get the Games again in 2024.
The Chase Return the Serve Fun event will take place in 10 cities across the nation on Friday.
“Chase has been an outstanding supporter and partner of the USTA Foundation, and we can't thank them enough for these generous grants,” said Dan Faber, Executive Director, USTA Foundation. “We are fortunate to have Chase continue to invest in our participants on and off the tennis court. Our partnership with Chase helps deserving youth to excel academically, through tennis, and ultimately through life.”
“It’s important that we equip our kids with the skills they need to succeed at a young age, most importantly through education and physical activity,” said Barbara Paddock, Managing Director for Sports and Entertainment at JPMorgan Chase. “As a sponsor of the US Open for 36 years, we’re proud to support the USTA Foundation and its NJTL programs’ mission to help today’s youth build confidence, camaraderie, and ultimately pursue their dreams.”
Friday’s schedule includes:
9 a.m.: Check-in at Velo Sports Center at StubHub Center
10 a.m.: Opening Ceremonies at Velo Sports Center
Note: National Anthem will be sung by LAUSD teacher Lisa Fulbright
10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Tennis games, music, dance, ace and hit for prizes.
ABOUT FIRST BREAK ACADEMY
Located at StubHub Center, home of the USTA Training Center - West, First Break Academy is an award winning 501(c3) comprehensive tennis outreach initiative launched in October 2014 by friends of the game of tennis. The First Break mission is to empower kids and positively impact their futures by championing access to excellent tennis programs featuring multisport play activities and academic enrichment. The United States Tennis Association Foundation ACE (Academic Creative Engagement) grant awards help fund the First Break AfterSchool tennis and learning activities held at StubHub Center. The First Break team has shared the game of tennis with over 500 local students and more than 1,200 hours of instruction have been donated. First Break Academy is a three-peat winner of the USTA Diversity & Inclusion’s Multicultural Program Excellence Award. For more information, visit: www.first1break.com.
ABOUT USTA FOUNDATION
The national charitable organization of the USTA, USTA Foundation brings together the powerful combination of tennis and education to change lives of under-resourced youth. The Foundation utilizes financial grants, scholarship opportunities, curricula, technical assistance and training to make a lasting difference, and it’s with a primary focus is to develop and ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. The NJTL network features more than 500 chapters that reach more than 225,000 youth on an annual basis. The Foundation raises money and public awareness to support these life-changing programs through private donations, corporate sponsorships and foundations, as well as its special fundraisers held throughout the year, including the US Open Opening Night Gala, the US Open Paver program, World Tennis Day and a series of Pro-Ams on both coasts, to name a few. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $25 million in grants and scholarships to more than 270 programs, helping to serve up dreams for thousands of children and adults throughout the country. For more information on USTA Foundation, visit www.ustafoundation.com. Or stay connected through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/USTA/, and on Twitter at @USTA.
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. Chase serves nearly half of America’s households with a broad range of financial services, including personal banking, credit cards, mortgages, auto financing, investment advice, small business loans and payment processing. Customers can choose how and where they want to bank: 5,200 branches, 16,000 ATMs, mobile, online and by phone. For more information, go to Chase.com.
ABOUT STUBHUB CENTER
AEG’s StubHub Center is southern California’s home of world-class competition and training facilities for amateur, Olympic, collegiate and professional athletes. Managed by AEG Facilities, the $150 million, privately financed facility was developed by AEG on a 125-acre site on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) in Carson, California. StubHub Center features an 8,000-seat tennis stadium, a 27,167-seat stadium for soccer, football and other athletic competitions and outdoor concerts; a 2,000-seat facility for track & field and a 2,450-seat indoor Velodrome – the VELO Sports Center – for track cycling. StubHub Center is home to Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy, the five-time MLS Cup Champions. StubHub Center is also home of the Los Angeles Chargers, United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) High Performance Training Center, the national team training headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and EXOS, an international training center for elite and professional athletes. For additional information, please visit www.stubhubcenter.com.
ABOUT THE STUBHUB CENTER FOUNDATION
StubHub Center Foundation a 501c(3) organization was established to provide financial and in-kind support for educational, recreational and social service programs which improve the lives of young people in the Greater Southern California region. The foundation has a particular focus on serving the area immediately surrounding AEG’s StubHub Center, located in the City of Carson. The StubHub Center staff spends countless hours giving back to our community every year through programs, events, scholarships, and youth ticket donations.