Post-Season Stories: Shaniyah

Coach Eaker is one of ACE's Site Coordinators and the physical education teacher for Washington Elementary. Coach Eaker makes sure that all children in the school have access to tennis, whether it's through her gym classes or ACE. In addition to her love for Novak Djokovic, her love for children and their well-being is unmatched! Here is her Post-Season Story:

Hey World! Shaniyah here! Better known as the Queen of the COURT!!!!!

A little back story for y'all. I'm a 3rd grader here at Washington Elementary School located in Riverdale Illinois. I've been part of The Ace Project since 1st grade. Tennis is my jam, my heart, the very best.

Although I'm pint sized, I boast a huge heart and a ton of power for my size.

I really like tennis for a lot of reasons! I get to hang with my fave girls Ryah, Diamond and Laylah. We play lots of fun games, that teach us and let us practice all the skills we need to play tennis.

I also really like it that my 3 brothers also are part of The ACE Project. When we walk home, we talk about tennis and everything we learned and did during the session. The 2 hours really fly by.

I enjoy all the games we play. I'm really good at the ball retrieval game because I'm really fast and quick. I can fly around that court and I'm always the first one to get all the balls back on the racquet or back out on the court.

We also play a fun game with Ms. Eaker's squeaky chickens. One of the coaches tosses a ball over the net to each player. If we hit it correctly back to them, we get to run around the net and grab a chicken. I always hit the ball correctly and run to get that chicken. The first team to get all 4 chickens wins! That team gets to choose the other team's consequence. it's so much fun.

Another fun game is called knockout. All the kids and coaches are in 2 teams on both sides of the net. If I hit the ball correctly and the other team misses the ball, then more of my teammates get to come out on the floor. We try really hard to get our whole team out on the floor. Sooner or later we do get knocked out, but it's ok. We always have a lot of turns at this game.

My best most favorite game, though, is King or in MY case, Queen of the Court. Because I AM the Queen of the court. I like to have my girl Ryah as my partner.

We try really hard and do our best to not let the other teams score any points. If another team gets 3 points off us, then we have to leave our side of the court and not be the Queens any more. That just isn't going to happen! If it does and another team gets really lucky and knocks us off our court, we work really hard to get our rightful place back as the Queens of the court.

My dream is to someday take my talent to another level and become a tiny but mighty tennis player. My goal is to continue practicing and growing and learning all the skills I need to become a real time Queen of the Court! So World, Look out, cause Miss Shaniyah is on the court and coming for you!