Twenty-five children from the Boys and Girls’ Club in Albany got a fun introduction to the world of tennis Thursday morning. The family of tennis enthusiast Bill McCann teamed with Leadership Albany to provide an opportunity for the children to spend time with four tennis coaches to teach the fundamentals of tennis at Albany State West’s tennis facility.

“My dad loved tennis,” said Tracy McCann-St. Amant. “So we wanted to do something that would honor his legacy and we couldn’t think of a better way to do it than to introduce tennis to children,” she said. Bill McCann passed away with cancer.

McCann-St. Amant, her sister Julie McCann North and her mother Glenda McCann were all on hand with smiles to watch the children play tennis, most for the first time.

“Tennis is not one of the common sports that a lot of children learn,” said McCann-St. Aman. “We wanted to introduce them to the fundamentals of the game, but even more important is the concept of sportsmanship.”

“We knew dad loved tennis,” she said, “but we were amazed by the response my sister and I got at dad’s funeral about how he always showed such great sportsmanship. We knew he was competitive, but he was always very gracious on the court. That is one thing we want the kids to take away from today.”

The McCann family donated a portion of the money needed to fund Thursday’s event and the other money was donated through Leadership Albany’s 2017-18 program. Wes Sadler was in Leadership Albany with McCann-St. Amant and worked together to make it happen. University of North Florida intern Joel Boysen was instrumental in getting everything together for the event.

Each of the children received their own tennis racket as well as a gift bag with tennis balls, arm bands and more.

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