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Tennis programme in US to be named after Jack

Tennis programme in US to be named after Jack

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The annual summer tennis programme of the City of Petersburg in Virginia, USA, is to be named in memory of young Vincentian tennis scholar Daron Jack.{{more}}

This disclosure was made on Friday, October 15, at Jack’s funeral service at the New Testament Church of God at Wilson Hill, Kingstown, before hundreds of mourners who turned out to pay their last respects to the slain 23-year-old.

Jack, who was a senior engineering major of Virginia State University (VSU), which he attended on a tennis scholarship, was found severely beaten late on the night of Monday, October 4, at his off campus apartment. He later died at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.

Daron was the son of Tyrone and Joanne Ince-Jack, and a former resident of Level Garden. During the funeral service, his mortal remains lay in a closed casket, draped in the blue and orange flag of his university.

Tami Yerby, Director of the City of Petersburg’s Parks and Leisure Services, extended “heartfelt sympathy” to the Jack family in a letter read at the funeral service by President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association (SVGTA), Anthony McKenzie.

Yerby said in the letter that Daron had touched the lives of hundreds of “at risk” youth in the city of Petersburg by teaching them tennis during the summer.

“Despite high temperatures, Daron unselfishly used his skills and knowledge to improve the quality of life for over 300 youth. Daron made a difference as he developed and nurtured a relationship with our city youth. He will be missed, but forever remembered,” the letter said.

Yerby then disclosed that “In an effort to keep Daron’s memory alive” her department will name their annual summer tennis programme “The Jack Summer Tennis Programme.”

Head Men’s Tennis Coach at VSU, who represented the school at Friday’s funeral, spoke fondly of the young man, whose memories, he said, he will forever cherish.

With his voice shaking with emotion, Thompson described Daron as a “great player” who gave his all on the court.

“If he had his A game on, you were in trouble as an opponent. If he was off, he still played hard,” the coach said.

He said Daron got along with his teammates in a “wonderful fashion” and will be remembered for his sense of humour.

Coach Thompson said Daron idolized basketball star Kobe Bryant and American football quarterback Michael Vick who, for Daron, “could do nothing wrong on the court, or in life.”

He said whenever Daron made a good shot or had a great match, he would do the dance made famous by American football star Deion Sanders, and say: “I am nice!”

Thompson said Daron lived his life “wonderfully” and he would forever be grateful to have known him. He also expressed gratitude that Daron was able to help the VSU men’s tennis team achieve its first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bid.

Other members of the local tennis fraternity paid glowing tributes to Jack, including Daron’s former coach, Nigel Liverpool, and young tennis rising stars, Corey Huggins and Kirk DaSilva Jr. The tributes from Liverpool and Huggins were read by DaSilva. In addition to reading the letter from the Director of the City of Petersburg’s Parks and Leisure Services, President of the SVGTA, Anthony McKenzie, also expressed condolences on behalf of his association.

Jack’s body was laid to rest at the Kingstown Cemetery.