Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dick Vitale Tennis extravaganza returns to Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club

The 2011 Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic will return to the Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club from Nov. 11-13, 2011.

This is the only clay court college tournament in the nation and the only event of its kind that brings men’s and women’s teams in for one event.

New this year, ESPN sportscaster and Lakewood Ranch resident Dick Vitale is adding his name to the tournament.

“This event is going to feature some of the greatest players on the collegiate level,” Vitale said. “Lakewood Ranch is blessed to have teams like these, all coming here. I would encourage anyone who wants to get involved to sponsor the tournament with a banner that will hang at all the weekend events – including the party at my house. I’ll be here to introduce the players and it’s gonna be awesome baby with a capital A!”

The best college players in the country will battle it out in three days of competition.

Men’s teams include Arizona, Pepperdine, Minnesota, Miami, Florida, Ole Miss., Virginia, Alabama, and Duke. Women's teams include Oklahoma St., Mississippi St., Miami, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Baylor, Northwestern and Clemson.

“We have a waiting list for college teams that want to enter this tournament,” said Paul Lederman, Lakewood Ranch’s director of athletics. “It’s a huge win for our area, and has become a huge event in the collegiate tennis world after our successful inaugural event in 2010. We plan to bring this back every year. “

Admission to the tournament will be free and open to the public but donations will be taken for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator.

Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $100 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. Administrative and fundraising expenses are paid by the Foundation's endowment.

The Foundation awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit

Anyone interested in sponsoring the Dick Vitale Clay Court Classic or hanging a banner at the tournament or at the party at Dick Vitale’s house can contact the tournament team at 941-907-2255 or 941-907-2935. The full tournament schedule will be released at a later date.

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