Eddie White Jr. caught the tennis bug late in life after years of competing in team sports. He hasn’t exactly eased into USTA League play, in 2019 captaining for the first time and taking the helm of three teams during the season.
“I’m super competitive. If I do something I want to be the best at it and compete,” White says.
Several surgeries forced him to give up high-impact team sports. Then he remembered how much he had enjoyed taking a tennis class in college and purchased some new racquets.
“I definitely wish I had taken it up earlier, but I love playing now and love that I can keep playing until I’m old and grey,” says the Rockledge resident. “Well, greyer.”
Last year two of the three teams White captained advanced to sectionals in his first year captaining “full time.”
“I prefer stronger line-ups combined with fair distribution of playing time so that’s how I captain,” he says. “Everyone gets to play their share, with strongest line-ups deciding the toughest positions.”
A social worker off the court, White works with Family Promise of Brevard to end homelessness in the county, especially among children.
“I have always had a passion for helping others going way back to my days growing up in inner-city Chicago, seeing poverty firsthand and what it does to a community,” he says.
White has expanded his playing opportunities in addition to USTA League, now competing in the 3.5-level national qualifier in doubles.
“I love USTA Leagues and tournaments and all the opportunities it gives us to be our own version of professional athletes,” White says. “I will definitely continue to support and hopefully grow along with the USTA.”
USTA Florida thanks Eddie White Jr. for expanding USTA League play opportunities as a captain for multiple teams in the Brevard County area.
Birthplace: Chicago, Ill.
Family: Mother Dollie, siblings Andrew, Mary, Kellie, and Eric
Favorite Movie: Happy Gilmore
Favorite Food: Chicken wings
Favorite Travel: Melbourne, Australia
Favorite Shot: Overhead smash
My earliest tennis memory was…”I started playing tennis three years ago after 30+ years of playing team sports. I wish I had discovered it earlier as I have fallen in love with the sport.”
If I could play tennis with three people, they would be…”Andre Agassi, Jennifer Capriati, and Monica Seles.”
When I am not playing tennis I am…”Working to end homelessness in Brevard County.”
My best tennis memory is…”I love playing in tournaments, it gives me a chance to take a lot of swings and work on my game. Recently I played in, and won, the men’s 3.5 nationals qualifier. It was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to go to Arizona next year to compete against the best of the best.”
I like to volunteer in tennis because…”When I get involved in something I tend to dive in head first. Learning to play tennis and being a part of that community has been amazing and I love having something that I can do until I’m very, very old.”