Kamau Murray

About

Kamau Murray, is the president and founder of XS Tennis. As a graduate of the Chicago Public Schools, Kamau knows first-hand that athletic programs are crucial to Chicagos youth during the most critical stages in their life. Murray participated in Chicago Park District tennis programs as a child and subsequently was awarded a tennis scholarship to Florida A&M University where he received his BA and MBA in Fnance. Kamau says that one of the most gratifying things he has witnessed is watching the students as they learn a multitude of life lessons alongside their tennis training, including tenacity, sportsmanship, the importance of a strong work ethic, self-confidence, and how to interact with and support their peers.

Kamau Murray began offering tennis coaching to 5 children in 2004. As the need for a program of its type became increasingly evident, XS Tennis was founded in 2008. The organization’s successe have been remarkable. Murray’s initial five students have gone on to win 17 national championships, four IHSA state championships (09’, 11’, 12’, 13’) All of the “first five” are playing college tennis with full scholarships at Harvard University, West Point, Stony Brook University and the University of Illinois., and Clemson. As XS Tennis has grown, the record of successes – both athletic and academic - has not diminished. The average ACT scores of XS graduating seniors is an impressive 26. From 2008 -2013, 100% of graduating seniors have received college tennis scholarships to prestigious universities such as Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, Stony Brook, Iowa, DePaul, Florida A&M, Harvard, and the University of Chicago.

With the support of Ariel Investments, the XS Tennis & Education Foundation offers free afterschool tennis lessons in 10 Chicago Public Schools in many of Chicago’s most impoverished neighborhoods. The program keeps the children active and safe during those times when they are most likely to be idle, unattended, and victims of crime or involved in criminal activity. Currently, approximately 2,000 students take advantage of the Tennis XSpress program. Kamau is currently coaching 18 year old touring professional Taylor Townsend. In their first year together on the tour, Taylor has gone from 556 to 125 in the world.

The organization’s successe have been remarkable. Murray’s initial five students have gone on to win 17 national championships, four IHSA state championships (09’, 11’, 12’, 13’) All of the “first five” are playing college tennis with full scholarships at Harvard University, West Point, Stony Brook University and the University of Illinois., and Clemson. As XS Tennis has grown, the record of successes – both athletic and academic - has not diminished. The average ACT scores of XS graduating seniors is an impressive 26. From 2008 -2013, 100% of graduating seniors have received college tennis scholarships to prestigious universities such as Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, Stony Brook, Iowa, DePaul, Florida A&M, Harvard, and the University of Chicago.

With the support of Ariel Investments, the XS Tennis & Education Foundation offers free afterschool tennis lessons in 10 Chicago Public Schools in many of Chicago’s most impoverished neighborhoods. The program keeps the children active and safe during those times when they are most likely to be idle, unattended, and victims of crime or involved in criminal activity. Currently, approximately 2,000 students take advantage of the Tennis XSpress program. Kamau is currently coaching 18 year old touring professional Taylor Townsend. In their first year together on the tour, Taylor has gone from 556 to 125 in the world.
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