About US

Our Mission

The Alex O’Brien Tennis Foundation will promote and grow junior tennis in the Panhandle of Texas and will use tennis as a platform to inspire, educate, and give hope to our youth, so they may see the world as full of opportunities and adventure.



Alex O’Brien was raised in Amarillo, Texas. As a student at Tascosa High School in Amarillo, Alex was a star tennis player placing first in the state two out of three years. Alex continued to excel while a student at Stanford University, winning the NCAA team event 3 out of 4 years and winning the triple crown (singles, doubles and team titles) his senior year. Alex holds the record for most wins in the college tournament and was a four-time All American (three years in singles, four years in doubles). In 1992, Alex graduated from Stanford and became a professional tennis player. In his distinguished tennis career, Alex won one singles title and 13 doubles titles. In 2000, Alex’s doubles team was ranked first in the world. During his career, Alex claimed victory over such players as Krajicek, Wilander, Gilbert, Siemerink, McEnroe, Connors, Philipousis, Kuerten, Becker and Aggasi. Alex founded the Alex O’Brien Youth Tennis Foundation, the predecessor organization to the Foundation, in 1998 to bring tennis to those who would likely not have the resources to play tennis, the underprivileged kids in his hometown of Amarillo.


One of the main goals of The Alex O’Brien Tennis Foundation is to create opportunity.

The Opportunity to Come to Together…The Alex O’Brien Hitting Clinics

In 2013, long before thoughts of selecting a board, writing by-laws, designing a website, and filing for 501c3 status, a small group of tennis pros, coaches, and tennis enthusiasts set around a table at Alex O’Brien’s office to brainstorm ideas and to tackle challenges facing junior tennis in Amarillo, Texas. One of the needs identified during this meeting was the need to unify The Tennis Community in Amarillo. The idea of the hitting clinics was birthed. Alex along with pros, coaches, and parents from all over town came together once a month during the fall of 2013 and all volunteered their time to hit with junior tennis players. The first clinic was held at Amarillo National Tennis Center, and 100 juniors ranging from 6 to 18 showed up to play tennis. The response was overwhelming and continued strong for the months to come, and thus, the Alex O’Brien Tennis Foundation was rebirthed.

The Opportunity to Dream…The Alex O’Brien Board of Champions

The foundation implemented The Alex O’Brien Board of Champions at Amarillo National Tennis Center as a tool to motivate and to reward junior players. The board is divided into levels and recognizes individuals in the Amarillo Tennis Community who have achieved greatness in his/her tennis career. Juniors’ and Adults’ pictures and names are posted on the board, and it serves as a visual representation to our young players that great things have happened and continue to happen here in Amarillo tennis. Currently, there are 35 juniors’ pictures on the board who have achieved the USTA status of Champ or Super Champ. There is much excitement surrounding the juniors’ pictures on the board, and it is best explained by the story of a beginner player who is about seven years old. He had just finished a lesson and was getting a drink of water while gazing up at all of the kids’ pictures on the board above him. After a few minutes, he turned and looked at one of our board members, and declared, “One day my picture will be on that board! I just have to keep working really hard.”

The Opportunity to Grow…The Alex O’Brien Match Play Challenge

Last summer, the foundation launched the match play challenge event, and its purpose is to fill a void among juniors players that many of our local pros and coaches have deemed as “too many lessons and not enough matches” for our juniors. In a response to this feedback, the foundation developed the match play challenge where juniors are encouraged to play as many sets as possible over a designated amount of time (usually about a 6 week period). The foundation designed a computer program where players sign up, keep track of their matches, and can follow the leader board to see where they stand in earning specific goals that translates into prizes along the way. Prices have been things like hats, t-shirts, bag tags, court shoes, tennis bags, rackets, private lessons with Alex, hitting clinics, and the grand prizes being a week at The John Newcombe Tennis Ranch and a week this summer at Texas Tech Tennis Camp. The Match Play Challenge ran in both Summer 2014 and Fall 2014, and the foundation had around 50 kids participate each time.

The Opportunity to Advance…The Alex O’Brien Challenge Ladder

In Spring 2015, the foundation decided to take the match play challenge to the next level and the challenge ladder was born. The goal of the challenge ladder is to group similar level of players together in a group and have each junior play everyone in his/her ladder. Using a computer program through the USPTA, juniors would log in and enter his/her scores. The computer would then rank each player within the group. At the end of the 10-week rotation of playing everyone in your group once, the top two players of each box progress up to the next level and the bottom 2 players of each box move down a level. This allows for the juniors to continually be able to play new players and make new friends in the process. 50 juniors participated in the spring, and the foundation plans to kick off a new ladder for fall 2015.

The Opportunity to Learn…Tennis in the Parks

Each summer for the past 15+ years, The Alex O’Brien Tennis Foundation has partnered with City of Amarillo to offer “Tennis in the Parks.” This program is a part of the summer recreational activities put on by the city, and it targets under-privileged juniors. The summer recreational program provides kids with a safe environment and positive summer activities. “Tennis in the Parks” is an initiative funded by the foundation that allows juniors in our city to have access to free tennis lessons at multiple parks all over town. This year alone over 100 hours of tennis was provided to a record number of kids (850).

The Opportunity to Be a Part of a Team…Alex O’Brien Tennis Foundation & Kids Inc.

One of the greatest tennis events happened this past spring when the foundation teamed up with Kids Inc. and offered tennis to kids across Amarillo. Jimmy Lackey, CEO of Kids Inc., predicted we would have around 200 juniors sign up for the 4 week program. Once the final numbers settled the clinics garnered an amazing 480 kids. The Foundation estimated close to 70% of the kids had never touched a tennis racket in their lives. This program will be an annual event and provide one more avenue for the Foundation to reach kids who would otherwise never have an opportunity to play the great sport of tennis.