Sierra Halverson Wins Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Award
(Courtesy of USTA Northern)
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - In partnership with the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the USTA presents the Bill Talbert Jr. Sportsmanship Award nationally to junior players who exemplify the finest qualities of sportsmanship in tournament play. Congratulations to Sierra Halverson of Burtrum, Minn., on being one of four recipients for 2011. She will be honored with the other awardees at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., in July.
Only playing tennis the past four years, Halverson has become one of the best in the Section as she was ranked No. 1 in 16s and No. 2 in 18s. In 2010, she was the USTA Northern Section Champion in Girls 18s and was a member of the 18s National Team. She was ranked in the top 150 of the country in Girls 18s, was listed on the Prince Top 100 Players list and was a 4-star recruit by Tennisrecruiting.net.
In April of 2011, she was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome which is when the blood vessels or nerves in the thoracic outlet (the space between your collarbone and first rib) become compressed. She had blood clots in her shoulder and lungs and was told she would never play tennis again. After having a rib removed, she has made a full recovery and is back playing tennis after a six-month hiatus and will play college tennis at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Seen as a rising superstar on the court, she is just as regarded for her superior sportsmanship off the court. She was named the 2010 USTA Northern Jerry Noyce Girls Sportsmanship Award winner and won the Girls Sportsmanship Award at 16 Zonals. She is extremely respectful of her opponents and tournament officials, as well as being gracious whether she wins or loses. She has earned the respect and admiration of all her tennis-playing peers.
The Bill Talbert Junior Sportsmanship Awards are presented each year by the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Four recipients are selected from nominations received from the seventeen USTA sections.