Nick Bollettieri, the legendary tennis coach, received the 2008 Tennis News Person of the Year Award, known as the Bellamy, Sunday on Stadium Court of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
The Bellamy was presented to him by Steve Bellamy, the first winner of the Award in 2005 and later named after him, recognizing him for creating The Tennis Channel.
Bellamy credited Bollettieri for creating an industry, the boarding tennis academy. There are likely hundreds, possibly thousands of academies around the world, thanks to Bollettieri’s successful creation. Not only did he create the industry, but he did it so well that all academies are judged as they are compared to the IMG Nick Bollettieri Academy, generally referred to as “Nick’s.” None has come close, said Bellamy.
“There are thousands of tennis players around the world who achieved tennis success, be it club-playing success, a college scholarship or earning thousands and even millions of dollars on the pro tour thanks to what they learned from Nick Bollettieri in Bradenton, (Florida),” declared Bellamy.
Bollettieri accepted the Bellamy, modestly saying that the success of his students is what drove him from his beginning at The Colony on Longboat Key in 1977.