Akins Honored with Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award at ITA Leadership Weekend
NEW YORK – On Saturday, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) presented Duquesne University alumnus Drew Akins '19 with the Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award Endowed by Billie Jean King, at the ITA Leadership Weekend.
The awards banquet, located inside the Empire State Building,
Akins and the award winners began the day participating in the Arthur Ashe Jr. Kids Day at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.
Drew Akins was honored with the Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award today at @ITA_Tennis Leadership Weekend!— Duquesne Men's Tennis (@DuqMTennis) August 25, 2019
He volunteered at the largest single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event in the world and later accepted his award in the @EmpireStateBldg! https://t.co/Kt80CLUfaY
Arthur Ashe Kids' Day powered by Net Generation is the largest single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event in the world, with chart-topping music acts and today's best tennis players coming together to celebrate tennis legend and humanitarian Arthur Ashe. The award winners offered instruction at several stations.
Akins later accepted his award at the awards banquet portion of the weekend inside the sixth-tallest skyscraper in the world.
The ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award was created to
"I am extremely blessed and
"Over the years, however, I have realized that being a leader is not always about being the best or brightest, the fastest or strongest, or even the face at the front of the crowd," Akins added. "To be a leader is to give everything you have, your time, energy, focus, and commitment to those who you lead."
During his time on the Bluff, Akins represented the Duquesne men's tennis team on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at both the University and Atlantic 10 Conference level. He took a particular interest in the "It's On Us" campaign, a national movement launched in 2014 to end sexual assault. Akins also served
An excellent student, Akins, who his academic career with a 3.91 grade-point average, earning a finance degree from Duquesne in May. He played at No. 2 singles and doubles for the majority of the 2019 season and earned Atlantic 10 Conference All-Academic Team
Akins became the second recipient of the ITA Ann Lebedeff Leadership Award, joining Case Western Reserve University's Nithya Kanagasegar, who was the inaugural winner in 2018. He was one of four finalists announced in late March along with Caroline Casper (Pomona Pitzer), Sarah Hall (Delaware) and Madison Watts (Webster).
Tomorrow, Akins and the group will visit the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis in the Bronx. He will end the leadership weekend by providing on-court instruction to the New York youth before returning to the Steel City.
The ITA Leadership Weekend serves as a prelude to the start of the 2019 US Open main draw that begins Monday, August 26, at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium.
About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow. As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA oversees men's and women's varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College divisions. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men's and women's varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit the ITA website at