Dunja Antunovic Name the Winner of the 2009 ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Sportsmanship and Leadership
-Antunovic to be honored at the 2009 Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day-
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Division I national awards were announced today during a ceremony at The Zone Club/Kyle Field on the campus of Texas A&M. After being named a regional finalist last week, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) named Dunja Antunovic the winner of the 2009 ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship.
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. It is awarded to students-athletes who exhibit exceptional sportsmanship and leadership on the court, as well as scholastic, extracurricular, and tennis achievements. Antunovic was picked as the national winner out of the seven regional finalists. This is the second ITA national award the senior has won.
As the national winner, Antunovic will be honored during a special ceremony hosted by the United State Tennis Association during Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day inside Ashe Stadium. While there Dunja will get 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. Past participants have included Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Andy Roddick, and Roger Federer, while Sean Kingston, Lil’ Mama, and the Jonas Brothers have lent their musical talents to a day dedicated to teaching kids the value of humanitarianism, leadership, and academic excellence.
Antunovic has exuded the values that have embodied Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, as well as its namesake collegiate award. On the court, she led the DePaul squad to a program-high second place finish in the 2009 BIG EAST Conference Championships. For her efforts, she was selected to the All-Conference team along with teammates Anna Redecsi, Selma Salkovic, and Katarina Milinkovic. She ends her career as a Blue Demon with 97 singles victories and 90 doubles wins.
Off the court, she has spent countless hours helping others. Among her extracurricular activities, Antunovic has been involved in Relay for Life, DePaul Athletics’ Feed the Homeless Sandwich Drive, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and volunteered in the St. Vincent DePaul soup kitchen.
In the classroom, Dunja has held herself to a high standard; a standard which she encourages the students around her to strive for as well. For the past two years she has 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, and helping them positively transition into life in college.
Last season, Antunovic was awarded the ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportmanship; a women’s tennis award that goes to a Division I student-athlete who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to her team, which has enhanced her team’s performance and exemplified the spirit of college tennis.
The Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, held on Sat., Aug. 29, kicks off the 2009 US Open which officially begins on Aug. 31. For more information on the children’s event, please visit the official US Open website.