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Prince PPI All-American Gives Top Academy Juniors a Taste of the NCAA Championships

Junior tennis players are seldom dubbed pioneers, but that's the description Ken Merritt, Director of Teaching Programs at Prince Sports, uses for those who participated in the first PPI All-American Championships held in conjunction with the NCAA Division I championships in Tulsa last month.

Prince's Ken Merritt talks about the Challenge Cup
© ZooTennis.com
The Prince Plugged In Academy Challenge Cup competition, in its fourth year, pits top junior academies against each other, in a team format. For the first time this year, the competition went global, with Prince sending the U.S. Cup winner, Dallas's T Bar M, to Rome in early May to compete against academies from Spain, Italy and England.

An all-expense paid trip to Rome is a motivating prize certainly, but Prince was also looking for a way to reward individual performances during the Challenge Cup, and came up with the All-American.

"We felt like we had to give a carrot in front of the parents and the players to play these Challenge Cup matches," Merritt said. "You have to sacrifice a little bit of ranking sometimes to increase your development, and all of us believe the team concept is the best way and the fastest way to improve.

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