Log In   ·   Become A Member

INTERVIEW: Johnny Mac Tennis Project Executive Director Jordan Botjer On The 2019 Hamptons Pro-Am, The Project's Inspiring Impact, And More

Nicole Barylski

Patrick McEnroe, Lindsay Davenport, Andrea Jaeger, John McEnroe, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova at last year's Pro-Am. (Photo: Mark Sagliocco/PMC)

On Saturday, August 24, tennis legend John McEnroe will be joined by several tennis superstars at SPORTIME Amagansett Tennis and Swim Club for the 5th annual Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) Pro-Am in the Hamptons.

We caught up with new JMTP executive director, Jordan Botjer about this year's fundraiser, the JMTP's impact, and more.

Who will be featured in the 5th annual Johnny Mac Tennis Project's Pro-Am in the Hamptons?

JB: This year we have a great lineup of tennis superstars. John and Patrick McEnroe will be joined by other greats of the sport including Kim Clijsters, Mardy Fish, Mats Wilander, Guillermo "Willy" Cañas and Emilio Sánchez. Guests will play with our legends and pros, get to meet some of the children this fundraiser benefits, and enjoy great food and drinks---then attend the After-Party and mix and mingle.

The event will also include an After Party at a private residence with music selections by renowned actor and celebrity DJ Alan Cumming. Tell us a little bit about that.

JB: The After-Party is, of course, an incredibly fun part of the event. Guests can join our stars and celebrities at an exquisite Hamptons home, discuss the upcoming US Open, bid on auction items and enjoy music selected by our celebrity DJ, actor Alan Cumming. As I'm sure you know, one of Alan's many famous movie and Broadway roles was playing Billie Jean King's tennis-fashion designer Ted Tinling in Battle of the Sexes with Emma Stone---and he really loves the game! He is also very supportive of the Johnny Mac Tennis Project's efforts to make tennis more accessible and affordable for young people and grow the sport.

How has funds raised during the Hamptons Pro-Am impacted the Johnny Mac Tennis Project?

JB: This Hamptons Pro-Am is JMTP's signature annual fundraiser, and allows us to introduce the game of tennis to kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience it. We do a lot of outreach and work with schools in the East Harlem and the South Bronx neighborhoods surrounding our headquarters at SPORTIME Randall's Island. The program is really growing and, in addition to extending scholarships for tennis training through the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, is now partnering with local schools and providing instruction as part of a physical education curriculum each week at SPORTIME's facility. This past spring, JMTP launched a partnership with BNP Paribas, which is sponsoring need-based scholarships for ten top New York City area junior players to receive JMTA tennis training, including tournament and travel costs for competitive play. This is part of creating a pipeline that allows players with real enthusiasm for the sport to go as far as their talent can take them.

JMTP founder John McEnroe with students. (Courtesy Photo)

You recently joined JMTP as executive director. What attracted you to the role?

JB: Well I have been playing tennis for most of my life, and have been passionate about the sport for a very long time. I played tennis competitively as a junior and in college. I went on to become an attorney, but stayed very involved in athletics, working in a pro bono capacity to help create opportunities for young girls to play sports and to ensure that Title IX rules were upheld. The role I have now combines my love for the sport with the ability to make a positive impact on young New Yorkers. I believe that tennis taught me a lot about perseverance, problem-solving and self-reliance so, helping to bring a sport that played a pivotal role in shaping who I am into the lives of kids who might not otherwise be exposed to it, is very fulfilling. And just like John McEnroe says, how great would it be to find and train the next American tennis superstar in his hometown of NYC?

How many students currently participate in JMTP?

JB: JMTP has provided tennis opportunities for thousands of children since its inception. Currently our community and school programs offer tennis as a physical education class for 12 local schools and a total of 400 students weekly. In addition to this community programming, JMTP provides scholarships to the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which have made it possible for hundreds of players to access higher levels of competition. We also have what we call our Excellence program for very young players who show lots of promise and are working their way towards JMTA.

Could you discuss the impact of JMTP on participant's lives?

JB: I see the difference it makes every day. We see children become more confident, athletically, socially and personally, as they begin to improve their basic tennis skills. We see young girls empowered by their strength and talent on the court. We hear feedback from parents and teachers that their kids are more focused in school and more driven to succeed. We see children who, even though they may be experiencing family or personal difficulties, are able to laugh and have fun and leave everything else off the court for a few hours. Best of all, we see some kids fall in love with the sport and begin to work to improve and compete as they pursue this new passion.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

JB: We hope that your readers will come join us on Saturday the 24th! Tickets are still available for this great day of tennis in the Hamptons with John McEnroe and Alan Cumming---all in support of helping kids play this great sport and achieve their goals.

The Pro-Am begins at 2 p.m., while the After Party begins at 7 p.m.

SPORTIME Amagansett Tennis and Swim Club is located at 320 Abrahams Path in East Hampton. For more information, visit www.jmtpny.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is a banana?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 34 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.

Suburban Propane in Bridgehampton, New York has been serving proudly supporting our community for 90 years.
Suburban Propane has been serving the energy needs for home owners and business in the Hampton’s for decades. We offer friendly service by local professionals you know and trust, plus the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are among the leaders in the industry for safety.

WordHampton Public Relations
We build client revenues and reputations. Our reputation is built on delivering a strong media presence and, as a result, demand for our clients' offerings, resulting in a positive impact on sales. Successful campaigns start with understanding the goals of our clients and developing a customized strategy that will achieve those objectives.

SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster.
SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster. Her treatments are based on five element acupuncture. She also offers Far Infrared Sauna treatments. PEMF cellular excerise.

Spanish Maven was founded by Marisa Ramirez.
Spanish Maven was founded by Marisa Ramirez after she experienced learning English as a second language upon relocating to New York.