Two Harlem residents and tennis enthusiasts, Claude Cargill and Bill Brown, started HJTEP in1972 at the local 369th Regiment Armory.
One of the first African-American policemen in New York, Cargill retired as a youth patrolman in 1962. He had organized and coached Police Athletic League basketball programs and had privately supported youngsters by buying tennis equipment, paying tournament entry fees, providing room and board and securing private coaches for talented players.
While the two founders gave tennis lessons and subsidized the fledgling program, former Knicks player Earl ("the Pearl") Monroe helped them attract outside funds. He and Bill Holloway, another tennis instructor, teamed with Mutual of New York (MONY) Financial Services to sponsor an annual invitational tournament to benefit the program.
In 1979, they launched a Homework Club to provide tutoring and academic counseling. Their early emphasis on education has only grown in recent years. The founders would be gratified to know that 60% of our program graduates go on to college.
Executive Director — Katrina Adams.
Our programming is broken into three distinct levels Grassroots & Futures, Tournament Leveland The Tournament Team.
Outdoor Season (Summer Programs) — HJTEP offers Summer programming for beginning players and high performance tournament level players. The Beginners Day Camp is offered at Howard Bennett Park and the Tournament Training Camp location is TBD.
Esu Ma'at — Tennis Consultant. Mr. Ma'at is a graduate of our program. Now a USPTA and USTA High Performance-certified teaching professional, he joined our staff in 2002 to ensure effective training of coaches and to develop intermediate and tournament level players. Since 2002, his coaching philosophy has produced over 100 section-ranked, 20 nationally ranked and 24 varsity student athletes on college tennis teams. Mr. Ma'at attended Farleigh Dickinson University on scholarship, where he played #2 Singles for 4 years; the last 2 years he was an All-American. He holds a Masters in Sports Management from Columbia University.
Simone Spigner — Assistant Manager of Tennis Programming. Ms. Spigner, a graduate of HJTEP, is a head coach of entry-level programs for our youngest players. She is a PTR-certified teaching professional with more than 10 years of experience in coaching. She attended South Carolina State University on a 4-year tennis scholarship. Simone was promoted to Assistant Manager of Tennis Programming in 2017.