Casey Zhong of Highlands Ranch, Colo., and Izabella Edin of Staples, Minn., have been named the 2016 Novo Nordisk Donnelly Award national winners. The two national winners received one-time $7,500 scholarships towards education, tennis development, and/or medical care. They were presented their awards by Mylan World TeamTennis co-founder Billie Jean King on Sunday, July 31 at the New York Empire tennis match.
The Novo Nordisk Donnelly Awards annually distribute $39,000 in scholarships, including two one-time $7,500 national scholarships and eight one-time $3,000 regional scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to male and female athletes ages 14-21 and in good academic standing, who have diabetes and play tennis competitively in tournaments or on their school team.
Eight other students received the regional Novo Nordisk Donnelly Award, which offers a one-time scholarship of $3,000. These recipients are Maddie Barton of Saint George, Utah; Natalie Brown of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Margaret Dolan of Winthrop, Mass.; Heather Luedke of Whitefish, Mont.; Lukas Olson of Ephrata, Pa.; Ashly Pingsterhaus of Anna, Texas; Kacey Stephens of Soddy Daisy, Tenn.; and Gregory Welsh of Ambler, Pa.
Edin, who attends Saving Grace Christian Academy through home schooling, started playing tennis at 11 years old and decided to play high school tennis at Staples-Motley-Verndale in the fall of 2014 and was soon playing No. 1 singles. During the past season, she was named Section 8A Singles Champion and took 3rd place in the Minnesota State High School Championships. During her first year on varsity in 2014, Edin was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Since her diagnosis, Edin has excelled both on and off the court. She was named to the 2016 USTA Leadership team while also being inducted into the National Society of High School Scholars. Izabella was named the winner of the 2015 USTA Northern Jerry Noyce Junior Sportsmanship Award and was selected to participate in the 2016 BJK WTT Junior Nationals in San Diego for the USTA Northern team.
Zhong is headed into her senior year at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo. For the past three years, Zhong has led her team as the No. 1 girls singles player. At 10 years old, Zhong was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and began playing tennis. Since taking up the sport, Zhong was twice named to the All State team and MVP of her high school team. Casey was a National Zonal team member in the 12, 14 and 16 and under divisions and was a recipient of the sportsmanship award from the Colorado Tennis Association. She has been on the Academic Honor Roll for the past three years and is part of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. In her free time, she volunteers at Brookdale Nursing Home and the USPTA Wheelchair Tennis Clinic.
These awards are named after two former World TeamTennis executives and tennis champions, Diane Donnelly Stone and Tracey Donnelly Maltby, who are sisters. Stone was an All-American and NCAA doubles champion at Northwestern University, and Maltby earned All-Big Ten honors at the University of Iowa. Both women have lived successfully with diabetes since childhood. The scholarship program was established by King, through WTT Charities, in 1998 to encourage children with diabetes to lead an active life and compete in tennis.
Novo Nordisk has been the title sponsor of the award since 2002. The company is headquartered in Denmark and specializes in global healthcare with a concentration and leadership in Diabetes.
About Novo Nordisk:
Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people defeat other serious chronic conditions: hemophilia, growth disorders and obesity. With U.S. headquarters in Plainsboro, N.J., Novo Nordisk Inc. has more than 5,000 employees in the United States. For more information, visit novonordisk.us or follow us on Twitter: @novonordiskus.
About Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT):
Mylan World TeamTennis showcases both the best in professional and recreational team tennis with the innovative team format co-founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s. Mylan World TeamTennis features the best in professional team tennis competing for the King Trophy, the league‘s championship trophy which is named after King. The Mylan WTT Recreational League also operates team leagues and events. For more information, visit .