Pam Cooper made a decision a month ago that she will never regret.
“I bought some tennis rackets, and we’ve been coming up here (ever since),” Cooper said of the Ann & Doc McCluskey Tennis Center. “We just live around the corner.”
During the past 30 days the Cooper family hasn’t been able to get enough of tennis or the LaGrange tennis facility at McCluskey.
“We’ve been here five times. We’re getting stronger. We’re getting good at it, and we’re getting some practice,” said 8-year-old Nuria Cooper.
She plays with her mom and brother at McCluskey as often as she can. Every day would be good for Nuria Cooper if she could.
“It’s fun, and I’m still learning. We’re playing and moving around,” said the tennis beginner.
Nicholas Cooper is another newcomer to the sport of tennis. Nicholas Cooper is six years old. He is grasping some of the tennis fundamentals, along with the overhead smash and the backhand shot.
“I’m hitting the ball and playing. I swing really hard. I’m good,” said Nicholas Cooper, who played tennis for two hours on Friday afternoon.
Nicholas and Nuria Cooper were tireless as they were being fed bucket after bucket of tennis balls from their mother. All of the Coopers know what they were out there for at the McCluskey Center – tennis and sunshine.
They got both on this heated afternoon on the clay courts.
“I bring my kids out here so they can sweat and get some exercise. I’m getting them out of the house. This is a safe place. I want the kids to learn and enjoy it,” said Pam Cooper, who grew up in Peru and now lives in LaGrange. “I love tennis.”
Her kids do, too, one bucket of balls at a time. The tennis mom throws her children one fuzzy ball at a time, and the brother and sister take turns hitting the yellow colored ball. Nuria and Nicholas Cooper are getting their timing down.
They are also enjoying their new tennis rackets at their new playground, also known as McCluskey.
“We’re running a little and playing a lot,” said Pam Cooper.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer