APTA Board Member Profile – David Lee

David Lee
Residence: Darien, Connecticut
Occupation: Investment Management
Years of Service on the APTA Board: 1
Family: Wife, Jenny; Daughters, Isabel, 18, and Julianna, 16
Years Playing: 10

How did you get started playing platform tennis? The first time I played platform tennis was in 1994 at the invite of a friend. I had played competitive junior tennis and thought it would be a breeze. However, many service faults, missed drives, and screen embarrassments later, I thought the game was silly and I didn’t play again for almost 10 years. In 2003, I joined the Milbrook Club in Greenwich, CT, which had three courts and a solid core of players. My tennis friends encouraged me to give it another go, and this time I also took some lessons. From there, my playing took off. The camaraderie, sportsmanship, and mental aspects of the game made it addicting. I also realized that while my best tennis days were behind me, my best platform tennis days were ahead of me. Soon, I was playing two to three times a week and competing on Milbrook’s interclub teams, one of which I eventually captained. I later was introduced to Mike Gillespie, who was teaching my daughter, and he was kind enough to introduce me to others in the platform tennis community, which really kicked up my involvement.

Contribution to the APTA Board/Contribution to the
platform tennis community:
I’ve just joined the APTA Board so hopefully I will have a lot to contribute going forward. One project I am trying to lead is a capital/endowment campaign that would provide the APTA with a permanent base of capital to help support and grow the game through grants and special projects. I am also part of the 2014 APTA Mixed Nationals Tournament Committee, headed by Patricio Misitrano.

Favorite on-court moments: I have so many good platform tennis memories that it is hard to pick just one. My two favorite on-court moments would be: 1) The clinching point with Hardy Manges for the Greenburgh team against New York Athletic Club in the finals of the highly competitive Westchester League. Greenburgh is stacked with ranked players like Sebastian Bredberg, George Wilkinson, Anton Mavrin, Max LePivert, and Mike Gillespie. I was fortunate to be asked to join the team and I quickly became “first sub,” i.e., after the weekly line-up would go out, the captain would say, “If anyone can’t play last minute, David’s available to sub.” In the playoffs, I somehow snuck into the lineup and won a three-setter at the 5th line to clinch the victory for the team. 2) In a Milbrook Pro-Am three years ago, I was across the court from Mark Parsons. We played a long point that included nicks, shots bouncing backwards and around the post. After the point was over, Parsons said, “That was the craziest, best point I’ve ever played!” Nice comment from the game’s top player.

Past/future endeavors not platform tennis-related: I have played in the World Series of Poker three times. I have won the New York Metropolitan Father-Daughter Golf Championship in 2011 and 2013 with Isabel, a former runner-up in the 14 & Under Junior Nationals.

Favorite quote regarding sports/life lesson: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan.

Source: Platform Tennis Magazine, Vol. 15, Issue 4 Feb/March 2014