Hannah Dake wins Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship award

  • Published
  • By Jerry Cross
  • Air Force Academy Athletics
Senior Hannah Dake was named the recipient of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's National Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award for the 2012-13 academic year, May 21.

After winning the Mountain Region award last week, Dake was on the national ballot with 11 other regional winners.

The award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. In August, the national winners will be honored during a special ceremony hosted by the U.S. Tennis Association during Arthur Ashe Kids' Day inside Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

"I was completely surprised," Dake said. "This award proved that I've made it, thanks to my family, my friends and God. I can't think of a more special way to end my time at the Academy."

The award, which dates back to 1982, goes to NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.

"Hannah's Arthur Ashe Award is the biggest honor a player can receive," said Kim Gidley, the Acadmey's head women's tennis coach . "We are so proud of Hannah for her outstanding representation of the women's tennis program and the Air Force Academy. It is so great to see that Hannah's efforts on and off the court have been recognized and I know she will continue to serve and be a leader as she embarks on her Air Force career. For a coach, this is as big as it gets."

Dake, this year's team MVP, led the Falcons with 25 doubles wins and was second with 20 singles wins this season. Her 25 wins with fellow senior, Melissa Cecil, were the most by an Air Force doubles team in one season since Kat Bushey and Christine Abayan had 29 in 2005-06. She will graduate ranked No. 3 on the school's career list with 82 overall doubles wins and 152 combined (singles and doubles) victories in the Division I era (since 1996). She also earned her first all-Mountain West selection this season.

Off the court, Dake has been involved with her squadron and several Colorado Springs community activities, including events at Skyway Elementary School, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society and the Marion House Soup Kitchen.

After graduating May 29 with a bachelor's in humanities and a minor in philosophy, Dake will report to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. as a force support squadron officer.