Antunovic to be Honored at the ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Leadership & Sportsmanship Award Weekend
CHICAGO - The 2009 ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winners and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Star Team, which features the nation's top-ranked players from the 2009 season will be treated by the ITA and United States Tennis Association (USTA) to a weekend in New York, highlighted by activities during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Saturday, August 29th.
DePaul's Dunja Antunovic along with the Division I Men's winner, Blake Strode from Arkansas will be honored as the recipients of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award during a luncheon in the USTA President's Suite during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day on Saturday. The national award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. This award which dates back to 1982, goes to NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and JuCo men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
Antunovic, who completed her four-year career at DePaul in the spring of 2009, exemplifies the values that embody Arthur Ashe. On the court, she led the DePaul squad to a program-best second place finish at the 2009 BIG EAST Conference Championships. For her efforts, she was selected to the All-Conference team and ended her career as a Blue Demon with 97 singles victories and 90 doubles wins.
Off the court Antunovic spent countless hours individually participating in community service events while she spearheaded the athletic department community service efforts as the 2008-09 DePaul Captain's Council President. Antunovic participated in Relay for Life, DePaul Athletics' Feed the Homeless Sandwich Drive, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and helped organize volunteers for the St. Vincent DePaul soup kitchen and the Vincentian Service Day.
In the classroom, Antunovic held herself to a high standard; a standard in which she encouraged the students around her to strive for their best. As an upper classman, Antunovic tutored her fellow international student-athletes in various subjects, motivating them to reach their greatest potential. She has also been involved in mentoring first-year students as they transitioned into life at college.
As the national winner of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, Antunovic will have the opportunity to speak with the children involved the day's festivities, which include appearances by professional tennis stars and concerts given by today's most popular entertainers.
Prior to receiving the national Arthur Ashe award, Antunovic was the recipient of the 2007-08 ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship. The award recognizes a women's tennis student-athlete who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to her team, which has in turn enhances her team's performance and exemplifies the spirit of college tennis.
This season, Antunovic has moved from the court to the sidelines and will serve as a graduate assistant coach for the Blue Demon women's tennis program. Antunovic will begin graduate school in the Fall and will pursue a Masters in Journalism.