Jonathan Rosado wasn’t around last week to hear the kids – the ones who saw him as their hero – sing him “Happy Birthday.”
He wasn’t around to see them do a cleanup of the Hunting Park tennis courts, where he worked with Legacy Youth Tennis to teach them not only about fitness and health but also about leadership and responsibility.
The 22-year-old coach, who was a founding member of Legacy’s Hunting Park program, was senselessly shot the Saturday before Christmas, just a few doors down from his family’s home on Cayuga Street in the same neighborhood he left such an impact in.
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“The kids now feel like they have the obligation to do well as a result of Jonathan’s undying support for them, and undying belief that they would become better people, not just better tennis players,” said Kareem Bryant, Legacy’s director of neighborhood-based programs.
Legacy will be holding the Jonathan Rosado Memorial Tennis Tournament July 17-19 at the Hunting Park courts, which are getting renamed after Rosado. For the kids he mentored, it will be their first time playing in a United States Tennis Association sanctioned tournament.
“It’s a big deal for them,” said Bryant. “And for us, we’re showing our continued thoughts about Jonathan for how much he meant to us as an organization. It’s a step in the right direction.”
– Text, images and video by Cara Stefchak.