Steven Tibbetts’s days as a tennis star at Austin McCallum High may be over, but his career on the court will continue for at least another four years and some 40 miles away.
Tibbetts will attend Southwestern University in Georgetown in the fall, as well as play for the Pirates men’s program. He is currently a summer intern with the Capital Area Tennis Association, which awarded him the CAPTA Scholarship at its 24th Annual Junior Banquet last May.
Fernando Velasco, CATA executive director, said that Tibbetts comes from a family heavily active in and supportive of the local tennis circuit. Father Dave Tibbetts is the director of tennis at the Westwood Country Club.
“We have seen him play in [some of] the tournaments,” Velasco, whose relationship with the Tibbetts family goes back 15 years, told Texas Scorecard. “He impressed us not only with the quality of play but the wonderful support that he has from his family. When you watch him play, you see his mom, his dad, his grandfather … cheering him on and encouraging him.”
Velasco also praised Tibbetts’ attitude.
While at McCallum, Tibbetts lettered as a member of the Knights tennis team all four years, wrote for the school newspaper, and graduated sixth in his class. CATA lists him as McCallum’s male tennis MVP, and the website tennisrecruiting.net ranked him as a three-star national tennis recruit.
Standing at approximately 5-foot-8, Tibbetts’s game, Velasco explained, is conservative.
“He’s got great strokes, he’s got a beautiful slice backhand, [and he’s got] a good serve,” he said. “He runs well and is very active on his game.”
Tibbetts landed an internship with CATA because of his passion and love for the game, according to Velasco.
Elizabeth Hanson Smith, CATA director of communications and outreach, elaborated more on Tibbetts’s character as one of the factors in hiring him as an intern.
“Picture a ’50s kid in 2019,” said Smith. “He’s polite, he listens, he’s respectful, [and] he’s a good learner … He has a lot of humility. He’s a top achiever, but you never know it by his personality.”
She added that Tibbetts is “a product of what CATA does.”
“Our goal for Steven this summer … We’re hoping to develop him to become an influencer for his age group through tennis beyond just the internship,” said Smith. “It’s perfect that he’s going on to college tennis, and he’s going to stay local so that we can continue the relationship that we’ll start this summer with him.”
Tibbetts will major in economics and communication at Southwestern.