When he was 11-years-old, a family friend told H’Cone Thompson about Washington Tennis & Education Foundation and encouraged him to start playing tennis. While apprehensive about the opportunity at first, Thompson was lured into joining WTEF’s program for the benefits of playing a sport, getting free lessons and receiving free clothing. Thompson’s parents, who met each other while playing tennis, also encouraged him to take advantage of the opportunity.
Thompson struggled with tennis at first, getting cut from the developmental team during his first two years in the program. The combination of having no coach and many people doubting his abilities contributed to Thompson’s struggles. Thompson later turned his struggles into success when he met WTEF’s Director of Tennis, Willis Thomas Jr. who became his friend and worked with Thompson to improve his game.
After meeting Thomas, Thompson’s tennis career took flight. During his freshman year at DeMatha High School, his tennis team won its first city championship. This was the first of four tennis championships DeMatha won during Thompson’s four years at the school. Additionally, Thompson was captain of the tennis team during his senior year and made the school’s honor roll throughout his four years at DeMatha.
Thompson was accepted into Lafayette College, where he received a four-year grant, which included a partial academic and partial athletic scholarship. As a leader on the tennis team, Thompson played #1 singles and served as captain during the undefeated fall 2001 season. As a true scholar-athlete, Thompson was a double major in Business and Economics, and earned a 3.0 grade point average throughout his studies.
After graduation, he traveled on both the USTA Professional and International Tennis Federation circuits. From 2004-2008, Thompson played nearly two dozen Davis Cup matches for the Bahamian Davis Cup Team. “I still get to play at a high level of competition,” remarks Thompson. “I like to compete and test my skills against the guys in their prime.” Thompson now serves as a tennis pro at Woodmont Country club, where he has worked since 2007 and continues to volunteer with WTEF programs, serving as a leader to future generations of WTEF scholar-athletes!