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NIRSA Member Blends Tennis Pyramid

Mick DeLuca, Director of Cultural and
Recreational Affairs at UCLA.
While Tommy Haas was busy making it happen on the court at the 2006 Countrywide Classic, a US Open Series event held July 24-30 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA, one NIRSA member was busy making it happen off of the court.  Mick DeLuca may not be an avid tennis player himself, but he shows his love for the sport of a lifetime through his hard work at all levels of tennis.

In his job at UCLA, DeLuca and his staff oversee all the athletic facilities on campus.  This includes the LA Tennis Center where, not coincidentally, the USTA Southern California Section houses its offices.  This unique relationship affords him the opportunity to be intimately involved with the Countrywide Classic; DeLuca sits as a committee member for the ATP tournament, which is chaired by USTA President Franklin Johnson.

Not only involved at the top of the tennis world, though, DeLuca said the he "see[s] the college atmosphere as a great place to promote the blending of the 'pyramid of sport.'"  Stepping down this pyramid from the professional level, it is easy to see what he means.  He works closely with the varsity tennis programs on campus, which recently had their men's #1 singles player, Benjamin Kohlloeffel, named the ITA National Player of the Year.  Stepping down the pyramid once more, DeLuca is the current president of NIRSA Services Corporation (NSC), the fundraising arm of NIRSA that manages the NIRSA National Campus Championship Series (NCCS), which includes the USTA National Campus Championship.  At this level, he works tirelessly for top collegiate recreational tennis players across the country.  His recreational tennis team at UCLA secured a first-place finish at the 2006 USTA Campus Championship - Southern California.

Stepping down the pyramid again, you can find DeLuca and his staff organizing and running numerous intramural programs for colleg students and tennis camp activities for children out of school in the summer.  "We truly embrace tennis on our campus," said DeLuca.

What is most impressive, however, is how DeLuca has encouraged the blending of these levels.  Examples include having the varsity programs donate equipment to the recreational programs and utilizing student interns majoring in recreational sports at the Countrywide Classic.  The tennis community is lucy to have such an oustanding leader as Mick DeLuca working in the key roles that he does.  He has definitely raised the bar for everyone involved with tennis on college campuses.