Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ Daniel Park Awarded 2020 ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award

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Daniel Park of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was awarded the 2020 ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award. (Photo by: Jacob Dye)

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced today that Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges senior men’s tennis player Daniel Park was named the 2020 recipient of the ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award endowed by Billie Jean King.

The Washington state native will be honored with a postgraduate scholarship along with a specially engraved gift to commemorate his accomplishments. Additionally, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s tennis program will receive a $1,000 donation from the ITA in his honor.

“I am immensely grateful and humbled to be recognized for what the ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award stands for, and am proud to represent Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Athletics,” Park said. “The award is a culmination of my college experience, which has led me to find my passion for developing the people around me both on and off the tennis court. It is also a reflection of all the great people who have supported me not only as a student-athlete, but also as a friend, brother, and son.” 

During his time at CMS, Park devoted himself to research on systems within pharmaceutical infrastructure. As part of a Keck Graduate Institute team, Park has spent the last school year working to improve the efficiency of a BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. process. 

Most recently, Daniel has begun working with RxAll to combat the issue of counterfeit drugs in Nigeria. Counterfeit drugs are a devastating social issue in Nigeria and cause over 12,000 deaths annually. He is building out a business model regarding how to integrate RxAll technology into the pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria to help alleviate this issue. His heart for social justice is at the core of his work with the medical technology startup. 

The ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award endowed by Billie Jean King was created to honor a recent college graduate who played college tennis and demonstrated excellence on and off the court, leadership on his or her team as well as on his or her college campus and in his or her community. The recipient of the award will have demonstrated grit (i.e. passion and perseverance towards long-term goals), a commitment to social justice and equality and will have pushed others to be leaders in addition to demonstrating his or her own leadership.

“Personally, and on behalf of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and all that support the values of college tennis, I am delighted to pay tribute to Daniel Park, a championship human being on and off the court,” ITA CEO Dr. Timothy Russell said. “Now in its third year, the ITA Ann Lebedeff Award continues to identify not only the winner and finalists, but a wide array of student-athletes who compete and serve in the spirit of the distinguished coach in whom the award is named as well as the sports and societal icon who established the award.” 

Daniel served as a captain for the CMS men’s tennis team for two years – a feat that is extremely rare for this prestigious tennis program. He constantly led the Stags to look for areas of improvement on and off the court.

“Daniel is a student-athlete leader unlike any I have ever worked with in my seventeen years as a head coach,” CMS Head Coach Paul Settles said. “His maturity, poise, and self-awareness are beyond measure for a young man of only twenty-one years of age.”

In addition to building up his teammates through team bonding, Daniel immersed himself into the Claremont community. Alongside his teammates, he helped prepare and serve food at local homeless shelters and ran physical education classes at an area elementary school.

Park will complete his degree later this month at Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Science Management with a sequence in Public Health. He was a four-year starter with over 100 career wins before the 2019-20 season was abbreviated by the coronavirus.

“I hope to continue to serve others wherever I go,” Park said. “Collegiate tennis has been a tremendous platform for me to build my foundation of leadership, and I am confident that the values instilled in me from my career on the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Tennis Team will propel me into the next steps.”

Park joins Andrew Akins of Duquesne and Nithya Kanagasegar of Case Western Reserve as winners of the award.

About Dr. Ann Lebedeff

Dr. Ann Lebedeff is the longtime head women’s tennis coach and Professor Emeritus at Pomona College. Since taking the reins at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, Dr. Lebedeff has guided her program to NCAA Division III quarterfinals seven times, including a semifinals appearance in 2008. Prior to moving to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, Dr. Lebedeff, led Cal Poly Pomona (1989-98) men’s and women’s tennis teams to national championships, with the women claiming back-to-back national titles in 1991 and 1992 and the men capturing a doubles national championship in 1993. She began her coaching career at the University of Arizona in 1977. An outstanding collegiate tennis player at San Diego State University, Dr. Lebedeff is a member of the SDSU and Cal Poly Pomona Halls of Fame and will be inducted into the ITA Women’s Collegiate Hall of Fame in September. A nationally ranked junior and collegiate player, Dr. Lebedeff won the U.S. Amateur Clay and Grass Courts doubles title in 1972, won the 1974 USTA National Women’s Intercollegiate Doubles and 1970 New Zealand Women’s Doubles titles.  

About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow. As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA oversees men’s and women’s varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College divisions. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men’s and women’s varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit our website at itatennis.com, like the ITA on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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