OWNER/CEO/DIRECTOR OF TENNIS
AMY PAZAHANICK, PTR & GPTA
Amy is the founder of Agape Tennis Academy. She enjoys reading, writing, coaching, learning, helping others, speaking, traveling, tennis, golf, business, music, and spending time with loved ones.
- Division I Collegiate tennis player at Coastal Carolina University
- Participated in the NCAA Championships
- Ranked top 50 in the nation as a collegiate player
- Certified in Sports Science, High Performance Player Development, and Mental Toughness
- Tennis columnist for local, national, and international magazines
- Founder of Agape Tennis Academy in 2012
- Director of Tennis at White Columns Country Club 2012-2016
- 2016 Community Outreach Program of the Year
- 2017 Tennis Director of the Year for Georgia
- 2017 10 and Under Program of the Year of Georgia
- 2018 Georgia Professional Tennis Association Program of the Year
- 2019 PTR Georgia Member of the Year
Annie Freeman is originally from Upstate New York, but she has lived in Atlanta since the age of five. She grew up playing at Brookfield Country Club in Roswell where she was a highly decorated junior player. She was Captain of the National Championship Team at Marist High School and attended Marquette University to study engineering.
In addition to continuing to play tennis recreationally, Annie has worked in the tennis industry since 1996. She was the pro shop manager at Berkley Hills Country Club where she gained valuable experience in managing all areas of tennis club operations, including stringing, pricing, accounting, branding, and marketing.
Annie and her husband, Chris have been married for 10 years. They have a seven-year-old daughter Maddux and fur babies Moses, Shadow and Bowie. In her free time, Annie volunteers at the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. She also enjoys Atlanta sports, playing tennis, going to the beach and watching movies.
DIRECTOR OF THE JUNIOR PROGRAM
SIMON MBOCK, PTR
Simon is a PTR Certified Professional and a former professional player. Simon moved from France to the United States and had the privilege to be coached by the tennis coach legend Nick Bollettieri at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida. While competing in France, Simon won the Paris Saint-Germain Junior Open and competed in the Roland Garros Junior Tennis Tournament.
Simon attended Georgia State University on a tennis scholarship and participated in several professional tournaments in the United States including the Legg Mason Pro-Tournament in Washington D.C.
2- Time NJCAA National Champion
2- Time Men’s Open #1 ranked in Georgia
2-Time Men’s Open #1 ranked in the Southern Region
Simon also attended Kennesaw State University and earned a degree in Accounting with honors while doing community service around the Atlanta metropolitan area to teach young student-athletes the importance of education. Simon trained several City Finals ALTA and USTA Junior and Adult Teams and taught private and group lessons to students of all levels for over 12 years. He enjoys teaching tennis to juniors and adults at all levels and his greatest passion is helping students reaching their tennis goals.
In 2015, Simon and his wife welcomed the birth of their son Oliver. During his free time, Simon likes playing tennis, golf, soccer and spending time with family. In addition to English, Simon is fluent in French and speaks conversational Spanish.
DIRECTOR OF THE ADULT PROGRAM
KEN FUNDERBURK, PTR
Ken is originally from Charleston, SC and has lived in Atlanta for the past 10 years. He started playing tennis at age 13 while attending Rivers High School and fell in love with game from the moment he picked up a racket and has been playing ever since!
Ken is a PTR certified professional and has with 35 years of coaching experience. He has competed in many high level tournaments throughout the southeast. Ken has worked with players of all ages and skill sets.
He has been a teaching professional for the City of Charleston, a Head Professional at Judy Alvarez Club Tennis in Tampa, Florida, McGhee Tennis Center in Atlanta and most recently, Director of adult programming at Windy Hill Athletic Club in Atlanta.
“I firmly believe that tennis is the greatest lifetime sport ever created. My passion and joy is playing and teaching this game. I love to see my students grow and improve and have witness this in amazing ways on and off the courts. I find that the more I give to the game, the more I get back in terms of learning, personal growth, and fulfillment.”
Ken’s hobbies are reading, cooking, and listening to jazz.
DIRECTOR OF TOURNAMENTS
Candace Kearney is one of the most experienced tournament directors in Georgia. She has been certified as referee and umpire for more than 10 years and has been certified as a tournament director for 11 years.
Candace is originally from Washington, DC and has lived in DeKalb county for over 20 years. As a Spelman graduate, she earned a BA in Sociology and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. She believes tennis is a great sport for community involvement, junior and adult recreation, development of athletes, and development of great character traits. Candace directs multiple (12 plus) sanctioned USTA JR and Adult events at different levels as well as UTR events out of DeKalb Tennis Center, giving our current Agape players and those in the surrounding community greater access to more sanctioned tournament play.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY OUTREACH | STAFF PROFESSIONAL
QUINCY JONES, PTR
Quincy Jones is a professional tennis player, trainer, and coach who offers programs designed to help youth and adult players enhance both physical activity and personal performance. He has been recognized for creating The Adult Academy, a tennis training program he developed during his time as Director of Adult Programming for Silvia Tennis Academy. Quincy helped adult players benefit from the academy style training utilized by national junior competitors throughout the United States. Quincy has also coached youth of all ability levels. He ran an elite high school program at Silvia Tennis Academy before joining the Agape Tennis Academy team.
In addition to teaching tennis, Quincy is driven by a passion to continually meet the needs of community members in a bigger and broader way. He is Chief Executive Officer of Beats the Streets U.S. Since 2016, BTS and its members have served more than 250 people through job placement/development programs and its ‘Homeless and Hungry’ initiative.
Quincy is also a writer, musician and an experienced Leadership and Personal Development Specialist: helping individuals and companies establish a foundation of clear purpose and self-worth; enhanced personal growth, development, and life skills. . He has written numerous articles on topics ranging from ‘The Perfect Service Rhythm,’ to ‘Money Middle Doubles. He authored the official Cardio Tennis theme song, which has been featured on international platforms since its iTunes release in 2015.
MARKETING DIRECTOR | STAFF PROFESSIONAL
NELA HANDAC, PTR & GPTA
Nela is a graduate of the University of North Georgia where she played four years of college tennis and majored in Exercise Science. Her passion for health, fitness, nutrition, and overall wellness is the basis for her life and she hopes to bring this knowledge to the world using tennis as her vehicle.
Nela was born in the city of Mostar in Bosnia, and she came to the United States with her family at the young age of two years old. Growing up in Buford, GA, Nela started tennis at the age of eight. At this age, her family had moved into a new house that had tennis courts in the neighborhood, and she quickly begged her dad to buy racquets so that they could try out the sport for fun. From that moment forward, Nela was hooked. Being the first person in her family to play tennis, Nela became very passionate about the sport and became deeply inspired by the fact that it is such an individual sport in which you can create your own destiny. Nela continued to play for her team at Mill Creek High School in her hometown, where she broke all school doubles records.
She went on to play a vital role in both doubles and singles all four years of her college career at UNG, and led her team as captain to break the record for most season wins her senior year. In addition to her knowledge of tennis, Nela has experience in the world of wellness, as she was an intern at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta where she worked in Employee and Child wellness, teaching exercise and nutrition classes and creating health programming for clients of all ages and fitness levels.
In addition to her knowledge of tennis, Nela has experience in the world of wellness, as she was an intern at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta where she worked in Employee and Child wellness, teaching exercise and nutrition classes and creating health programming for clients of all ages and fitness levels. Nela was also an assistant student strength trainer in her college athletic facility at UNG, and gained experience in leading athletes from all different sports in personalized workouts.
Off the court, Nela loves traveling, reading books, enjoying music, and experimenting in the kitchen. Her passion to lead a cultured, healthy, happy, and full life leads her in everything she does and has helped to build her desire to lead others. Nela believes that helping improve lives is woven into the small details, and she hopes to do so through the world of tennis. As it has molded her, she hopes that it so positively molds the people around her.
JOE HILL, PTR
Joe is a PTR Certified teaching professional with over 25 years of experience. During his tennis journey, he has had the opportunity to play at a high level as a junior and young adult in various tennis tournaments throughout the country.
As a teaching professional, he has been fortunate enough to be able to work with toddlers, juniors, young adults, adults, and Olympians! He is very proud of the fact that he has been able to help juniors achieve their dreams of earning tennis scholarships. He also takes great joy in seeing his adult teams improve every season and ultimately compete in the City Championships.
He loves working with USTA, ALTA, and junior teams of all levels, bringing all of the personalities of the players on the court together for one purpose, TEAM! He has extensive experience in running cardio tennis, men’s drills, beginner ladies, tournaments, and fun socials as well.
Besides being a tennis professional, Joe is also a chef and traveler. He is an adventurous, energetic, kind, and creative person. The tennis courts are his home and coaching brings him the greatest joy of all!
Moses was born in New Delhi, India and came to the United States when he was three years old. Moses started playing tennis at the age of twelve and quickly became a highly ranked JR player in the state of Georgia and the Southeast. He was recognized as the Gatorade Tennis Player of the Year for Clayton County during his high school career.
Moses earned a scholarship to play tennis at Piedmont College, where he was the number one singles and doubles players for three of his four years. He was the two time all conference player of the year for Piedmont College and won the conference championship in 2011. After graduating with a degree in Sports Marketing, he was the assistant Men’s and Women’s tennis coach at Piedmont college until 2015. He also completed his Masters in Business Administration during his tenure as assistant coach.
In addition to tennis and business, Moses is also an actor who is represented by Privilege Talent Agency. He loves to workout, play all athletics, travel, nature, and hanging out with his Siberian husky. Oh, and his favorite tennis player is Roger Federer.
MARIA DEL MAR PUERTA
Maria is originally from Cali, Colombia and came to United States to play collegiate tennis for Young Harris College. As a junior player, she was ranked in the top 10 in the nation in the 16 and under division and top 20 in the nation in the 18 and under division. Maria played in professional tournaments, including throughout South America before playing college tennis. While at Young Harris College Maria won a total of 69 singles matches. She holds the record for the most number of singles matches won in the history of Young Harris College. Maria graduated with a degree in Chemistry and a minor in Physics.
Maria has worked as a tennis instructor for Windward Lake Tennis Club in Alpharetta, Georgia. While at Windward Lake Club, Maria worked with a variety of children and adults. She has experience with high performance, intermediate, and beginner level junior players. Maria also worked with numerous ALTA and USTA adult teams, as well as teaching all levels of classes and drills to adult players. Additionally, Maria has worked summer camps in various places across the country helping develop her into a well-rounded, experienced, and knowledgeable coach.
In addition to tennis, Maria is an intern for a cardiovascular research lab at Emory University. She enjoys reading, traveling, and doing outdoor activities.
Originally from Dublin Ireland, Ciara represented her home country from 2000-2007 as part of the National Tennis Team. She was ranked No. 1 in Ireland in under-16 and under-18 during that time. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe playing competitive tennis before coming to the United States to play collegiate tennis.
Ciara played two seasons for Georgia Southern University. During that time, she was the number 1 player on the team in both singles and doubles (where she partnered with Amy Pazahanick). She then transferred to Ohio State University where she had a successful collegiate career. She assisted the team from a ranking just outside the top 75 to a top 20 ranked team in the nation. She graduated in June of 2008 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Communication. While finishing up her degree, Ciara served as an assistant coach.
After graduating, Ciara served as a tennis instructor at the Hurricane Tennis Academy in Sarasota, FL, as well as The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort in Longboat Key where she coached adults and juniors. In addition to coaching, she has helped run a highly successful challenger tournament in Sarasota for the past nine years. Some previous winners of this tournament include Jesse Levine, James Blake, Kei Nishikori, Sam Querrey, and Nick Kyrgios.
After coaching in two different clubs, Ciara then went into college coaching. She spent two years running the women’s collegiate program at Case Western Reserve University before moving on to be the assistant at the University of Pennsylvania. In her first season at Penn, she helped coach the Ivy League Rookie of the Year. The women’s tennis team had two players earn All-Ivy accolades in singles and doubles. The Quakers also defeated nationally-ranked Harvard which was Penn’s first win over a ranked team since the 2008 season.
Over the past couple of years, Ciara has been teaching adults and juniors of all levels at the YMCA of Buckhead. Ciara was heavily involved with the adult and junior program as well as the junior enrichment programs and summer camps.
Coach Bobby Hollins is a College Park, Maryland native bringing his experience to Atlanta. He was a highly ranked junior player who represented the state of Alabama in the United States Youth Games. He received a scholarship to play collegiate tennis at Alabama A&M University. He was highlighted in the “Who’s Who Among Black Collegiate Athletes”. Coach Bobby has taught all levels and ages, including summer camps, group lessons, private lessons, and teams. He coached a junior travel team that represented in the 2018 NJTL Excellence Teams Cup held at the JTCC in College Park, Maryland. Additionally, Coach Bobby coordinated with school officials and staff to organize and train students in an after- school program that gave instructions and exposure to basic tennis through the Atlanta Youth Tennis and Education Foundation (AYTEF) at Camp Creek Middle School, Union City, Georgia. He has two teenage boys who are also highly ranked juniors in the state of Georgia.
Coach Xavier Graves is a native of Atlanta, Georgia with over 20 years of experience playing and coaching tennis at an elite level. Coach Xavier was the Head Tennis Professional at Clayton County Tennis Center where he coached high performance juniors, adult ALTA and USTA recreational players, cardio tennis, and a host of programming for all levels and ages. He was also the Assistant Men’s and Women’s Coach at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where he was also a college athlete and student himself. In addition to being, a great player and coach, he also teaches and counsels inner city and disadvantaged youth by encouraging a strong work ethic, intellectual development, regular exercise, and sportsmanship through the Recreation Youth Development Services, Inc. Coach Xavier uses his own experiences and that of his mentors to impart life lessons for these at risk and troubled teens. Agape is very lucky to not only have a qualified coach and player, but also such a caring and giving individual on the team.
Ne’ko is from the Bronx, New York City and graduated from Washington College with a degree in psychology. She played collegiate tennis and was the number 1 singles and doubles all 4 years and was a 3 time All-American/MVP at Washington College. After college, Ne’ko taught tennis in Atlanta and New York City to adult and junior players of all ages and abilities.
Before joining Agape Tennis Academy, Ne’ko was the Director of Junior Development at Silvia Tennis Academy in Alpharetta, Georgia. She was responsible for leading the team and the instruction for over one hundred youth ranging from beginner to advanced levels. Additionally, she directed and owned Elite Performance Tennis which focused on training competitive junior athletes. Ne’ko is also certified in Mental Toughness.
Ne’ko loves music and sharing Bible truths with people. She and her husband have a beautiful Boxer/Rottweiler mixed dog named Mason.
Jose Galvez was born in Decatur, GA and has lived in Alpharetta, GA his whole life. He was born into a Hispanic heritage through his mother, Ana, and father, Jose. He started playing tennis at three years old, and have always kept it his main sport of focus.
JOnce he became more advanced, he started traveling to a lot of Junior Circuit tournaments which included ITF’s, USTA National Championships, and Southerns.
Jose achieved a National Ranking of #35 in the United States when he was 18 and qualified into the Main Draw of Eddie Herr ITF Grade 1, winning 6 matches in a row to reach Round 16. Tournaments he’s played in include:
- Eddie Herr International at IMG Bollettieri
- USTA National Championships held in Kalamazoo, Michigan
- USTA Southern Championships held in Mobile, AL
- Pan American ITF Grade B1 held in Tulsa, OK
- USTA National Indoor Championships in Kansas City, MO
At 19 years old, Jose is currently a sophomore at Kennesaw State University where he was awarded a full scholarship playing Division 1 Tennis. He is enrolled in the Coles College of Business studying Business Management.
Jose has a great passion for tennis, especially when it comes to teaching junior tennis programs on a group and individual basis. He relates well to the juniors he teaches since he recently went through the process of rising through the different levels of junior programs to reach his goal of playing collegiate tennis. Jose has been with Agape Tennis Academy since 2011. He REALLY loves cheeseburgers and gladly invites anyone to enjoy one with him!
Coach Angelo Cogdell is a certified Professional Tennis Registry coach with over 19 years of experience coaching and playing. Coach Angelo has been in the Atlanta area coaching adult and junior players of all levels for the past 10 years. He has coached at the East Lake YMCA, Emory University, and with the Charles Drew Charter School. Coach Angelo has a lot of experience working with ALTA and USTA adult teams of all levels. His specialties include helping individuals with strategy, tactics, and stroke mechanics. Coach Angelo is an articulate communicator, enthusiastic, motivating, and professional. Additionally, he is CPR and AED certified.
Coach Paul was a Head Professional of Fumiya Tennis Schools where he managed 40 teaching professionals to run tennis program at Takanawa Tennis Center, in the heart of Tokyo, Japan. Coach Paul became the Head of the Tennis Division of International Management Group (“IMG”). Tokyo IMG was the biggest sports management company, managing 40% of the top 100 raked players, including Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Bjorn Borg, and Matts Wilander, and handling the broadcast right of many international tennis tournaments including three Gland Slams during the 1980s and 1990s. Coach Paul also worked on securing and maintaining various commercial contracts for IMG clients and the sponsorships for IMG events during this time.
Coach Paul has a strong passion for helping the growth of tennis in Asia and in the United States. Paul secured the sponsorships for the National Junior Championship tournaments throughout Japan and created the funds for the national team. He worked closely with top international tennis academies such as Nick Bollettieri, Hopman, and Vitas Gerulaitis to train top juniors from Japan. He became the President of Bjorn Borg Design Group and Sports Management Asia and also served as the Tennis Convenor for the Hollandaise Club in Singapore.
Coach Paul values his experiences with all levels of players,coaches, trainers, agents, and those who support the sport. He brings this expertise to the Agape team. He continues his love for the game and is excited to help everyone enjoy tennis for a lifetime. Coach Paul teaches players of all ages, levels, and abilities with Agape Tennis Academy in Atlanta.
Coach Chris was born and raised London, England. He attended University at Hackney College in London. Coach Chris has played sports at a high level his entire life. He played semi-professional soccer as well as tennis. He has been coaching in the Atlanta area for the past seventeen years.
Coach Chris has taught tennis all over the Atlanta area and most recently with Emory University. He has vast experience coaching adult ALTA and USTA teams, adult group and private lessons, cardio tennis, high performance junior players, recreational level junior players, and private lessons to all ages and levels. He specializes in helping doubles teams with strategy, tactical movement, stroke mechanics, and creating effective partnerships. Coach Chris has led many of his doubles teams to become City Champions at multiple levels. He is certified with the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) and with the USTA, Net Generation program. He is still a very active tennis player and has been a City Champion in Atlanta 8 times. Coach Chris enjoys playing tennis and chess. He also has apassion for music and dancing.
Born and raised in Singapore, Judy has lived and traveled extensively in Asia including Japan. While she still considers herself truly Asian, Judy has made Atlanta her home since 2010.
Judy’s interest in tennis began when she was bringing and accompanying her daughter to play in countless ITF junior tournaments. When her daughter became eligible to play on the University of Washington tennis team, time became available to Judy to play and improve her own tennis as an enthusiastic adult player. In Atlanta, Judy played on several ALTA and USTA teams. She was Division Winner of A7 (2016), A1 55+ (2017) and T2 3.5+ Doubles (2017).
Judy makes conscious effort to live a fit, active and healthy lifestyle. When she is not on the tennis court, she practices mindful hatha yoga in the traditional way.
Judy also likes climbing Stone Mountain and walking the trails as well as hitting the gym for strength training. Naturally, she supports her fit lifestyle by eating healthy: going to restaurants which serve food that are “from farm to table”, and her own simple yet nutritious and delicious east-meets-west cooking and baking.
Judy enjoys meeting people. So please stop by Agape Tennis Academy @ Dekalb Tennis Center to say hi.