Men's Tennis Partners with Harper for Kids

Peanut Harper and members of the men's tennis team.

Sept. 20, 2013


MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine men’s tennis team showed that its commitment to service is an ongoing event, having recently spent the day at Woodlake Elementary mentoring the young students. The Waves partnered with Harper for Kids, a youth, character and development program based upon legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

The Harper for Kids (HFK) organization was founded by Tim and Peanut Harper in 2008. The mission of Harper for Kids is to teach children the important life skills that will empower them to achieve their personal best in life. The Harper’s vision is that HFK enrichment programs will help children develop good character and inspire the adults in the children’s lives to be good role models of important core, ethical values and help foster a healthy community.

Wooden’s Pyramid of Success preaches the importance of the building blocks of success: industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation, enthusiasm, self-control, alertness, initiative, intentness, condition, skill, team spirit, poise, confidence and competitive greatness.

Pepperdine and HFK spent the day teaching the Woodlake students these building blocks and about what it truly means to be successful – that it’s not about the trophies or medals on the shelf, but about giving your best effort day in and day out.

New associate head coach Marcelo Ferreira shared his story of his humble upbringings in Brazil and his journey to become a coach at the NCAA Division I level.

The team finished the afternoon with some tennis and other games with the children.

Team members Kento Tanaka-Tamaki (Kihei, Hawaii/St. Anthony Junior-Senior HS) and Damian Gryzelko (London, England/Saddlebrook Preparatory School) shared their take on the experience:

“I was more than happy to help children learn about success and hard work through John Wooden’s pyramid. It was nice to see how much the children appreciated us being there. They were an enthusiastic group of kids who were willing to learn. This was a great opportunity for us and I hope the children can take something positive away from this experience.” –Kento Tanaka-Tamaki

“This was a great experience for me. I really enjoyed spending time with the kids, talking to them about success and showing them how to play tennis. This is the first time I’ve done something like this and I really enjoyed it. I would do it again in a heartbeat.” –Damian Gryzelko

Learn more about the Harper For Kids organization here.



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