Our Staff

Christopher Champion

Head Pro

champion@ustaflorida.com

(352) 559-8860

Christopher has been passionate about the game of tennis since he started the game when he was 5 years old. Born in Miami, Champion was…

Christopher has been passionate about the game of tennis since he started the game when he was 5 years old. Born in Miami, Champion was raised in Palmetto Bay, Florida, and grew up playing tennis at Royal Palm Tennis Club in Pinecrest, Florida. He competed in junior local and state USTA tournaments while growing up. A United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Elite Professional and certified USTA High Performance Tennis Coach, Christopher has served in a variety of roles in the tennis community at both the local and state levels throughout the years.

With 15 years of experience, Christopher progressed through the tennis ranks taking on progressively more experience at First Serve Miami from 2004 to 2019, serving as a Tennis Coach, Program Administrator, Operations Manager and finally Director of Tennis. First Serve Miami is an established National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) program that offers tennis lessons and educational support to youth in Miami, Florida. As Director of Tennis, he was responsible for the daily operations at two afterschool program sites and eight elementary in-school programs which combined currently served over 500 participants.

Christopher graduated from Barry University in 2013, where he majored in Sport Management with a minor in Business Administration. As an undergraduate student, he completed four internships with the Miami Open Tennis Tournament under the direction of IMG including: Collector’s Club, Player Area Personnel, Sponsorship Operation, and IMG Tickets.

Christopher was recognized as the 2017 USPTA Florida Division District Professional of the Year for the North Miami Beach/ Aventura Area, and served as the Vice-President for that district. Additionally, in 2017, he was accepted in to the United States Tennis Association Player Development Mentoring Program. Since then, Christopher has attended, spoke, or coached at multiple Regional Educational Days, State and National Conferences, as well as several USTA Early Development Camps.

Lori Burdell

Training and Quality Assurance Manager

burdell@ustaflorida.com

(407) 634-6589

A Pittsburgh, Pa. native, seasoned tennis instructor and USPTA professional, Burdell brings with her more than 15 years of professional tennis teaching experience and an…

A Pittsburgh, Pa. native, seasoned tennis instructor and USPTA professional, Burdell brings with her more than 15 years of professional tennis teaching experience and an eye for innovation. She most recently served as Senior Recreation Coordinator at the Henry McMullen Tennis Complex in Clearwater, where she oversaw facility operations for the city while creating new tennis programs for the community.

“I enjoy developing and growing tennis businesses at every level, whether it be a new club starting from the ground up or an old facility floundering and in need of an overhaul, helping facilities and bringing them back to life is very gratifying.”

“Tennis has and will always be my passion and choice as an occupation, and I am excited to aid in the regrowth of tennis facilities across the state of Florida.”

Geetha Velusamy

Tennis Professional

gainesville@ustaflorida.com

352-281-9057

As a tennis player since the age of 4, Geetha has played competitive tennis her whole life. Geetha was awarded as Tampa Bay’s Athlete of…

As a tennis player since the age of 4, Geetha has played competitive tennis her whole life. Geetha was awarded as Tampa Bay’s Athlete of the Year in 2016 and was consistently ranked in the top 20 in the state of Florida throughout her junior USTA career. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from USF, graduating Summa Cum Laude and with Honors. When not playing tennis, you can find Geetha enjoying nature parks, at the gym, drawing, and playing the guitar.

Ebony Wiggins

Facility Attendant

gainesville@ustaflorida.com

352-281-9057

Ebony Wiggins was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida by a single mother, but was always surrounded by loving family and family friends. In elementary…

Ebony Wiggins was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida by a single mother, but was always surrounded by loving family and family friends. In elementary school, she was gifted a tennis racquet by a family friend, piquing her curiosity about the sport. Unfortunately, she never got a chance to play tennis when she was younger because of a lack of resources and access. Never growing out of that curiosity, Ebony joined USTA in the summer of 2019 to work as a tennis camp counselor–where she got to learn tennis alongside the children she has worked with.

Ebony currently works as the facility attendant at Play Tennis Gainesville, keeping the facility in shape; helping patrons with their inquiries, reservations, and purchases; and league play reservations. During the week days, she works as a paraprofessional with the Alachua County School District. She assists students, teachers, and staff inside and outside of the classroom. For 7 years, she has primarily worked with multi-aged children with disabilities and medical needs in the ESE program.

When she is not working, Ebony enjoys writing, drawing, gaming, and weight-training. Her ultimate goals are to see every community she is a part of grow and be healthy in various ways and to be the best and healthiest version of herself.

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