Charleston’s Shelby Rogers Honored with S.C. Tennis Award

Years ago, Mount Pleasant’s Shelby Rogers was a ball girl at the Volvo Car Open. Today, the WTA star makes her annual trip to the tournament as a player.

Monday night Rogers (who is currently sidelined from action with a knee injury) was honored with the first-ever Player Who Makes a Difference Award from the recently created South Carolina Junior Tennis Foundation.

The Foundation was established last January, and serves as a resource for advancing players and their families, even if they don’t have the means to pursue their dreams of going to college.

“My family had to take a lot of time out of their own lives to support me, and I’m grateful for that,” Rogers said. “I can remember being in juniors, and we would drive all over because it was cheaper than flying. It definitely takes a toll on everyone, but they supported me then and continue to today.”

Added Jeff Wilson, the founder of the SCJTF: “[This Foundation] is the beginning of a lifelong dream. There are a lot of young players who show great potential but don’t end up with all the opportunities other kids have to reach the collegiate and professional levels.”

We want “to help young athletes gain real-world business experience,” he added. “Tennis is an expensive sport. … It all adds up.”