Native Village 
Youth and Education News

April 1, 2013

US Tennis Association Reaches Out to Get More Native Youth to Play Tennis
Condensed by Native Village

Illinois: When D'Wayne Begay was 14, his mother worried about him hanging out in the streets of Albuquerque. She felt that would only lead to trouble. So she encouraged D'Wayne to play tennis, and the Navajo youth enrolled in an Albuquerque tennis program.  

Begay excelled in the sport and was a standout on the high school tennis team. He then went on to play collegiate tennis and become a tennis professional. 

Since 1990, D'Wayne has been nationally ranked in either singles and/or doubles in the men's 30- 55 divisions.
He is a seven-time North American Indian Men's Singles Open Champion.
In 1999, Begay was nominated to the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.
He was President of the North American Tennis Association in 1980, '82 and '83.
In 2007, he received the USTA Northern New Mexico "Adult Player of the Year." 
In 2009, the City of Albuquerque awarded him the "Spirit of Albuquerque Award", for his work with wheelchair players.
 He is the Director of Tennis at Albuquerque's Four Hills Country Club.  In 2008, Four Hills received the USTA Southwest "Tennis Facility of the Year" for Begay's tennis programming.
Begay has USPTA Specialist certifications in Wheelchair tennis and High Performance Coaching.
Begay is a certified USTA  Recreational Coaches Workshop Trainer.
He currently serves on the National USTA Diversity Committee,
Begay is Chair of the SW USTA Task Force Committee, SW USTA Diversity committee member and the USTA Northern New Mexico Diversity Chair.
Begay has acted in six motion pictures, working with celebrities such as Kevin Costner, Sam Elliott, Melanie Griffith, Matt Damon, Jack Palance and Billy Bob Thornton

Red Bear Tennis Program which provides tennis activities for at-risk youth

“Through the years, people have told me they do have never seen an Indian tennis professional, ” Begay says with a smile.

Begay continues learning and giving back to the sport of tennis. Of special concern are Native youth. He founded the 501c3 Red Bear Tennis Program which provides tennis activities for at-risk youth nationwide.

 Last month, Begay was on hand for Red Bear's Native Family Tennis Day held by the Chicago Public Schools. Native Family Tennis Day is in partnership with the US Tennis Association.


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