Kalissa Kaufman, founder of the World Team Tennis recreational program in Lawrence, will be in New York tonight to accept a prestigious national award.
Kaufman has been named WTT female director of the year and will be presented a plaque by Billie Jean King, founder of the pro and recreational tennis league.
"I was shocked and surprised," Kaufman said. "You have to be nominated by someone in your league and I had never told anyone in the league about the award."
Kaufman, a Goodland native who graduated from Kansas University, started the WTT program here in 1993.
"I worked in Wichita for a year and while I was there I played WTT," she said. "When I was transferred to Lawrence I started the program here because I really like to play tennis."
In the spring of '93, she convinced 16 people to play in one league. Now WTT in Lawrence has grown to 192 players in nine leagues. Kaufman has been Lawrence's WTT director all nine years.
Kaufman played tennis in high school, but not at KU.
"I'm just your average recreational player," she said.
For the last four years, World Team Tennis has been honoring a male and female league director who contributes to the growth of tennis and WTT as well as being a leader and role model in the tennis community.