Freshman tennis player scores with charity donation

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Amelia Jauregui

Freshman Milla Dopson prepares to retrieve the ball during a match. Dopson participated in and won a challenge in which you hit 30 balls and donate $30 to the Team Luke Hope for Minds foundation, which helps raise money for children with brain injuries.

Remi Williams, Staff Reporter

Not many athletes can say they get the opportunity to play with a professional, but for one tennis player on campus that is becoming a reality. 

Team Luke Hope for Minds is an organization that raises money to help children with brain injuries. 

“I started the team Luke Hope for Minds, which supports children after brain injury,” founder and dad of Luke, Tim Siegel said. “And we’ve done a number of different events. We’ve actually given out over half a million dollars to families, in 22 different states.” 

The nonprofit paired with John Isner a professional singles tennis player to create a challenge to help raise money.

“I thought the challenge was an amazing opportunity to give money in a fun way,” freshman tennis player Milla Dopson said. “The challenge is where you hit 30 balls and donate $30 to the foundation and then you will be entered into a drawing where you could have the opportunity of hitting with #21 in the world John Isner.”

The winner was randomly drawn out of 200 names. 

“When I found out I had won I was speechless. I was sleeping when my parents came into my room to show me I had won,” Dopson said. “The foundation reached out to me by phone and Instagram this morning. They are arranging the hitting time with Isner and I can’t wait for this amazing experience!”

This experience will not only connect Dopson with a famous tennis player but will also reconnect Dopsons mom, Erika, the Redhawk’s tennis coach, with her college coach. 

“I was a tennis coach at Texas Tech for a long time,” Siegel said. “I even got to coach, Erika, Milla’s mom. When she [ the consultant] selected Millia, I couldn’t believe it so I called Erika and she woke up Milla to tell her the news.” 

The match is set to be held at SMU in late June right before Luke has surgery so he can attend the game. 

“Mila is obviously a good tennis player and cares about the game,” Siegel said. “The opportunity to play with someone who has made the semifinals of Wimbledon  ranked in the top 10 in the world It’s quite an honor and John is a great friend.”