San Antonio – Erick DelaFuente (El Paso,TX/Coronado), a May 2013 Trinity University graduate, was honored in August at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships at Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
DelaFuente was the recipient of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award. He received the award last May at the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championships at Kalamazoo, Mich.The award, named for the late tennis great, goes to NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JUCO men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
In New York, DelaFuente and his fellow honorees were recognized at the ITA Awards Luncheon, hosted by the United States Tennis Association. The presentation took place in the President's Suite Dining Room as part of Arthur Ashe Kids' Day Activities, on Aug. 24 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
After the luncheon, the outstanding collegians watched the festivities from the USTA President's Box. This year's activity included a special appearance by First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as tennis stars Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer.
DelaFuente was team captain of the Tiger men's squad which advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the third time in four years. The two-time ITA All-American (2010 and 2012), earlier was named the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship West Region Award winner.
He won the ITA Regional singles title in the fall of 2009, and was also selected as the West Region Rookie Player of the Year. In 2011, DelaFuente captured the Regional doubles championship with Max Frey. Both victories qualified DelaFuente for the National Small College Championships in Mobile, Alabama.
DelaFuente was named to the 2013 All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Team, and to the SCAC All-Sportsmanship Team. He recorded a 12-12 singles record (largely at the No. 3 slot), and was 16-13 in No. 1 doubles with sophomore Jordan Mayer (San Antonio/Churchill). He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration on May 18 from Trinity, with a double concentration in accounting and finance. In the classroom, DelaFuente maintained a GPA of nearly 3.40.
DelaFuente was heavily involved in community affairs, working on service projects with the San Antonio Children's Shelter, the San Antonio Animal Shelter, and Habitat for Humanity. DelaFuente also helped raised awareness for heart health by participating in the annual Heart Walk of San Antonio,
Fourth-year Head Coach Russell McMindes led Trinity to its fourth straight SCAC Championship, in matches played at the Butch Newman Tennis Center. Coach McMindes became a four-time SCAC Coach of the Year.
Trinity won its 18th overall SCAC title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 20th time in 2013. The Tigers defeated Ohio Northern (5-0) and Gustavus Adolphus (5-2) at the NCAA Regional in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Williams College beat Trinity 5-1 in the national quarterfinals May 20 at Kalamazoo College, and the Tigers completed the season with a 20-10 record.