USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation would like to showcase the Parker Ross Memorial Junior Tennis Grant that will be opening in 2023 to share this family’s amazing story that exemplifies the meaning of ‘Giving Tuesday’. This movement of generosity was created with the idea of encouraging people to change their communities and do extraordinary things. Although he passed at the young age of 36, Parker Ross connected players for a lifetime by “living his passion in a positive way”.
From the age of 3, tennis was an integral part of Parker’s life. The lessons he learned on the court playing competitive junior tennis taught him discipline, focus, good sportsmanship, grit and resilience, and helped shape him into the wonderful man he became. His success as a USTA junior player led to college scholarships and ultimately to his beloved chosen career as a collegiate tennis coach.
Originally from Chicago, Parker played college tennis at University of Iowa and Butler. After his playing career, he coached at the Five Seasons Tennis Club and the Lawrence Township Tennis Association in Indianapolis, where he coached and mentored junior tennis players. From 2012 – 2018, Parker served as Head Men’s Tennis Coach for Butler University, leading the Bulldogs to the Big East championship in 2017 and earning him the distinction of Big East Coach of the Year. In 2019, he joined the coaching staff of the women’s tennis team at the University of Oklahoma.
Although Parker loved winning, he found far greater meaning in helping his players develop the life skills and resilience necessary to succeed, both on and off the court. Parker‘s philosophy to facing adversity was summed up by the motto tattooed on his chest, “Sedikit Demi Sedikit”, which is Indonesian for “Little by Little”. The tattoo, designed by his sister, served as a constant reminder that the key to bouncing back when you feel like you are down 0-40 is to face life’s challenges point by point, step by step, and little by little.
"He came back from adversity better and stronger and was able to do that because he took it one step at a time, little by little."
Robin Ross, Parker’s mother
Parker was lucky to have a family who could afford the time and money required to play competitive tennis. But we recognize that not all kids are as lucky. That’s why, to honor Parker’s legacy, his family is establishing the Parker Ross Memorial Junior Tennis Grant through the USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation to provide greater access and opportunity for promising junior players who have raw talent and drive to up their game and need financial support to compete successfully in USTA junior tennis.
Applications will be open January 2023
If you would like to donate to this grant CLICK HERE