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OTA Board of Directors

Pam Copeland - President

Nneka Nwakoby - Secretary

Laura Roberson - Treasurer 

Michele Duffy - Sponsor Coordinator

Nicole Millsaps - Events and Adult Beginners Coordinator 

Marianne Marcoux - Membership Manager and Juniors Coordinator






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The Ocala Tennis Association (OTA) is a non-profit association whose members are proponents of the sport of tennis and its growth in the Greater Ocala community.

 

As a service organization, OTA supports and promotes tennis among juniors and beginners,

as well as hosting events for its members.


Ocala’s All Stars

By Marianne Marcoux

Rafael Nadal … Carlos Alcaraz … Iga Swiatek … Coco Gauff … Who doesn’t recognize the names of these renowned tennis greats?!  Well Ocala, we can boast about these two all-stars:  DJ Bennett and Drae Centonze were recently named Marion County’s female and male tennis athletes of the year!  You’re probably not surprised if you follow high school tennis or frequent the Fort King Tennis Center.

Delaney, known to everyone as DJ, is the daughter of Steve Bennett, one of FK’s teaching pros. She played for Belleview High School this year and was coached by Chris Reed. DJ mentioned that the Athletic Director Phil Small also helped with the Belleview girls’ team, and came out to watch DJ in action at various competitions along with Coach Reed. By far, her greatest influencers are her parents who provide constant support and have helped pave the road for the tennis career that DJ covets. Since DJ returned to tennis after two major knee surgeries, she credits her parents for getting her through the arduous physical therapy and her strenuous recovery. It’s not something she could have done on her own, she humbly admits. And boy is she back in top tennis form! DJ was acclaimed the Girls Overall Singles Champion in the recent FHSAA 3A division State competition. She was also accepted and will attend Auburn University on a full scholarship. DJ was excited to tell me she starts school June 22nd and we sure wish her all the best! After university, she hopes to become a professional tennis player, her dream from the time she was 10 years old. Kudos to this remarkable young lady, a true all-star!

Drae played for Vanguard High School coached by Elaine Floro and Vuday Nadur. His influencers include the likes of Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz. I have it on good authority, however, that his mother Monica Centonze also figures prominently and proudly in his life. And who wouldn’t be proud of this young man who was the Boys Overall Singles Finalist at the recent FHSAA 3A State competition. Additionally, he and his younger brother Jae, were the Boys Overall Doubles Finalists at the same competition. Drae graduates from high school this year and will attend college locally at first so that he may continue to contribute to the Ocala tennis community a bit longer. His is the welcoming smiling face at the Fort King Tennis Center where he works part time. Eventually he plans to attend UCF and work with the USTA Lake Nona facility to further his tennis plans. Drae says he loves tennis and wants others to enjoy the sport as much as he does. Ocala’s tennis community is blessed to have such an enthusiastic all-star and young representative of the sport we all like.

Congratulations DJ and Drae!





Hey Juniors! Check out the OTA Scholarship Program on the JUNIORS Page.


A cold but fun Junior Jamboree - kudos to all who participated and congrats to the winners! Check out the Juniors Page for details.



Hey Adult Beginners, join the next session for the

Love 2 Learn/Love 2 Play program

offered at the Fort King Tennis Center by emailing Leigh Chak at chak@ustaflorida.com 

Tennis could become a lifetime pursuit!



Hey ADULT MEMBERS, thanks to all who participated in our Spring Fiesta! Check out the Adult Members Page for details.



We are 145 members strong with a number of Sponsors on board. Come join our ranks and help support and develop tennis in our community!



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