Green serves up competition, leadership

It’s no surprise that junior Florida A & M tennis standout Frank Green has become a leader and role model for newcomers.

Green has had an array of outstanding performances thus far this season, going undefeated in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference singles play and winning 21 matches.

The 21-year-old was exposed to athletics at an early age through his family and their guidance he said, set the pathway for superstardom on the Hill.

He follows in the footsteps of his sister, Traci Green, who was the first black player on the University of Florida women’s tennis team and the first to attain a NCAA championship title.

Paving the way for he and his sister was Tina Sloan Green, his mother, who earned three NCAA Championship titles as the head lacrosse coach at Temple University.

His father, Frank Green Jr., also had his share of athletic success. The elder Green was an alternate on an Olympic Trials Track Team in his heyday.

Green’s success on the court began at an early age, winning the boys 14 and under division of an officially sanctioned United States Tennis Association tournament in Long Island, New York on Easter 1998.

The native Philadelphian found himself traveling across the United States competing in local and international tournaments.

He eventually relocated to Tampa where he attended Palmer Tennis Academy, a prestigious private school to cater to his athletic development as well as education.

It was at the academy where he said he gained essential insight on tennis, academics and gained enlightening experiences by interacting with the school’s diverse population of 60 students hailing from everywhere from Egypt to Russia.

In his 15-year career, Green has earned various awards for his stellar play, including three amateur national championships, two appearances as a second team All-American, and team rookie of the year honors his freshman season in 2003-2004.

Judging from his 19-4 conference singles record, more accolades are to come.

“He makes my job a little simpler,” said head tennis coach Carl Goodman. “He is very strategic, hard working and dedicated. Frank learns fast and his experience helps to mold our new comers.”

Green’s teammate Clifford Malivert, a sophomore criminal justice student from Miami, vouches for the constant motivation Green offers his teammates.

“During my freshman year, Frank pushed me to improve my game skills,” Malivert said. “He showed me what it meant to have charisma, attitude and confidence on the tennis court.”

By no means has Green’s success come without a price.

Green and his teammates must withstand a grueling schedule, balancing both athletics and academics.

Imagine enduring a three and a half mile run at 6 a.m., attending class, and then remaining focused for a two and half hour practice and finally reserving enough energy to complete daily tasks and schoolwork.

Ironically, Green began his collegiate tennis career as a Louisiana State University Tiger.

But it would be at FAMU where Green found his place as a member of the tennis team under a fellow Philadelphian, Goodman.

“I am able to be an individual here at FAMU and be comfortable within my own skin,” Green said.

Now, with some professional play under his belt, Green is only more motivated to earn a No. 1 ranking in the conference in men’s singles.

Contact Ashley R. Smith at