Tempe, Ariz. (June 6, 2024) – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), in collaboration with Wilson Sporting Goods Co., is pleased to announce the 2024 Wilson® ITA National Promoters of the Year. Given annually to two collegiate tennis players, Natalya Ogunwale (Albany State University) and Shourya Verma (DePaul University) have been selected as this year’s winners.

Beginning in 2009, the Wilson® ITA National Promoter of the Year Award recognizes two individuals who advance the game of tennis by devoting consistent time and effort to promotional activities, and by supporting and bringing awareness to their school program and to college tennis in general.

Having just wrapped up her junior season at Albany State University, Ogunwale has been one of the brightest stars on the court for the Golden Rams, while working towards her degree in business which she plans to put into use within the world of sports upon graduation.

With her team finishing 20-5 overall this past season, Ogunwale was an instrumental piece to Albany State’s success as the native of London played from the No. 1 singles position all season long, finishing with an 16-2 record, as well as the No. 1 doubles position where she had an over 80% winning percentage across all matches played. Additionally, Ogunwale was named the SIAC Women’s Tennis Player of the Year for the second straight year. 

For Verma, his time at DePaul University has just concluded as he graduated from the prestigious school of business at DePaul this spring. 

Playing consistently from the No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 singles positions, Verma was a dependable plug and play option for the Blue Demons, coming up the biggest against Big East competition where he went 4-1 this year. Additionally, he helped lead DePaul to a Big East title and a spot in the 2024 NCAA Championships in which they faced off with Kentucky in the first round.

Find out more about Natalya and Shourya below:

About Natalya Ogunwale:

School: Albany State University

Why did you choose this school: I chose to attend Albany State as the college aligned with my athletic and career goals. Upon speaking to the coach and the ASU tennis team they informed me that there were extensive opportunities to gain work experience specifically in sports business and at the same time work toward business my degree. As of current, I work in the athletic department for work-study which has prepared me for the business world of sports.

Why did you choose Wilson: I chose Wilson as it is the most prestigious brand in sports. Wilson’s commitment to evolving its equipment and clothing in recent years was extremely impressive and important to me as it speaks to the corporation as a whole and even though Wilson is senior in its years as a company it continues to keep pace with modern times and what tennis players of any level would want in a sports brand. I am most looking forward to having the opportunity to build on my sports business knowledge.

What are you most looking forward to at Wilson: I am most looking forward to immersing myself in the sports business this summer at Wilson and getting to fully experience a corporate job in an established brand such as Wilson. I am also looking forward to graduating college, where upon graduation I hope to work in the sporting world and make an impact on the industry to the best of my abilities.

What’s your favorite sports memory: My favorite sports moment is winning my first national championship when I was 12 in London. I went into the tournament thinking I would do okay but nothing spectacular so I played the tournament with absolutely no pressure and proceeded to win the championship without dropping a set. It opened a lot of doors for me in my athletic career and my sister also won the championship in her respective age group later that day so it was one of the best days and one I will never forget.

Two truths and a lie: I wanted to become a professional gymnast before I started playing tennis, I know how to crochet any type of clothing, and I can name every capital of any European country on the spot.

About Shourya Verma:

School: DePaul University

Why did you choose this school: I recently graduated from DePaul University and chose the school because of the tennis program, as well as their business school, and the location of the school being in downtown Chicago.

Why did you choose Wilson: I chose Wilson because I have used their products since I was 14 years old, and they are a leader in the tennis industry. Furthermore, I am looking forward to learning the business operations of the company and being exposed to many amazing opportunities!

What’s your favorite sports memory: My favorite sports moment was winning the Big East title with my teammates at DePaul and playing in the NCAA tournament.

Two truths and a lie: I practiced Venus Williams, I can speak Hindi, and I enjoy roller coasters.

About the ITA

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body of college tennis and is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow while promoting both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, founded in 1956, is comprised of nearly 1,700 men’s and women’s varsity tennis teams representing over 1,250 institutions, administers numerous regional and national championships, and the ITA College Tennis Rankings for nearly 20,000 college varsity student-athletes at NCAA Division I, II, and III; NAIA; and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership, and sportsmanship. For more information on the ITA, visit WeAreCollegeTennis.com and follow the ITA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About Wilson  

Chicago, USA-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co. is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance sports equipment, apparel, footwear and accessories. The Company brings more than a century of innovation and heritage to the world of sport – celebrating the iconic moments made possible by Wilson across Racquet Sports, Baseball, Softball, American Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer and Golf. Wilson is part of Amer Sports Group, a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

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