May 22, 2012
ATHENS, Ga.- Senior Ryan Thacher was named this year's recipient of the ITA's Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship on Tuesday afternoon during the organization's annual award ceremony on the campus of the University of Georgia, in conjunction with the NCAA Championships.
Thacher advanced to the national ballot after being recognized as the award winner for the Northwest Region. Additionally, Thacher was the Northwest Region's honoree for the Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship award.
The Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. In August, the national winners are honored during a special ceremony hosted by the USTA during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day inside Ashe Stadium. The award dates back to 1982, and is distributed to players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
A three-time All-American in doubles and four-time all-conference honoree, Thacher joins fellow senior Bradley Klahn as co-captains of this year's team. Thacher displayed his leadership early on this season, playing at the No. 1 spot of the lineup for the first time in his career when Klahn was sidelined due to injury. Thacher, who has recorded at least 20 singles victories in all four seasons, has paired with Klahn to reach the NCAA Doubles semifinals in 2010 and championship match in 2011.
A History major with a 3.91 GPA, Thacher is also a two-time Pac-10 All-Academic First Team selection and a Pac-12 Toyo Tires Scholar-Athlete nominee. Off the court, Thacher is actively involved with community service efforts for the EPATT (East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring) program. Thacher plans to attend medical school to become a pediatric surgeon or trauma specialist after playing tennis professionally.
Thacher is the third Cardinal player to win this prestigious award, joining two-time recipient Paul Goldstein (1997, 1998) and Ryan Wolters (1999).