Miami’s Marilyn Cheung has been volunteering as a USTA Leagues captain for almost 20 years, applying basic life lessons and a few successful off-court tricks of the trade to her captaining repertoire.
“There is no such thing as secret to success,” says Cheung, who has taken her 18 & Over Women’s 4.0 team to USTA Florida League Sectionals two years straight. “But factors such as having a positive mental attitude, flexibility, having an open mind, and respecting individuals are components to a good life.”
Her team member Amanda Noboa says otherwise regarding secrets to success — at least of one secret.
“Marilyn brings a delicious home-cooked meal to feed us hungry girls after each home match,” she says, “along with some great wine.”
Playing out of the Kendalltown Park Tennis Center southwest of downtown Miami, the team will go for a third straight local league championship in 2018, and another shot at advancing to the USTA League National Championships.
“On paper, we are not necessarily better than the rest our fine opponents’ rosters, but in heart, no team has more cohesiveness and camaraderie than ours,” Noboa says. “Marilyn, rated 3.5, plays everyone but herself, yet comes to every match with a big smile. She cheers, supports, strategizes, and even manages to include those who are not in the lineup by reserving an extra court just for fun tennis. Extra players are always available, and our team has never forfeited a position.”
Next month the team will hold their annual holiday party, where Cheung organizes a holiday collection to donate to children in need. There are many USTA League players in love with captaining, and Cheung…well, admittedly isn’t one of them. She is in love with her team, and teammates, and the friendships they have cemented over the years.
“Honestly, there is nothing about captaining that is truly enjoyable but for me,” she admits. “It is my loving my team members. Otherwise I would not have been captaining this team for close to 20 years!”
Her efforts are not lost on her team members.
“Selflessly, our dearest Marilyn captains our team,” Noboa says. “We say selflessly in the true sense of the word. Everyone on the team adores her and respects her. In good times and bad times, we all know we have our Monday night to be lifted and reassured.”
USTA Florida thanks and congratulates Marilyn Cheung as the 2017 Florida November Volunteer of the Month for her 18 years of captaining teams and making USTA League a friendship affair for her players.
Birthplace: Bakersfield, Calif.
Family Members: Spouse Herman Cheung and daughters Jennifer and Jamie Cheung
Favorite Movie : Sound of Music
Favorite Food: “Everything”
Favorite Travel: China
Favorite Shot: Backhand
My earliest tennis memory was…”hitting against the backboard in attempting to learn how to play tennis at age 11.”
If I could play tennis with three people, they would be…”Roger Federer, Chris Evert, and Caroline Wozniacki.”
When I am not playing tennis I am…”cooking.”
My best tennis memory is…”taking my daughters to tennis tournaments.”
The key to qualifying teams to USTA Florida League Sectionals two years in a row was…”Keeping the team spirit high and believing in our team. Our team is just not about tennis but true friendship and caring for each other.”
I like to volunteer in tennis because…”of love of the game and camaraderie.”