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Forbes Earns Arthur Ashe Award From ITA

Jun 6, 2022
Abbey Forbes (Photo: Scott Chandler)

TEMPE, Ariz. – Abbey Forbes of the UCLA women's tennis team was named the Southwest Region's recipient of the Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship award, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced Monday.

This prestigious award, which dates back to 1982, is presented to men's and women's student-athletes who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership, as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements in ways that embody the legacy of tennis icon and humanitarian Arthur Ashe Jr.

Forbes became just the second Bruin to earn the title, joining 2008 honoree Elizabeth Lumpkin. The national award winners will be announced June 13.

On the court, Forbes tied for the team lead with 12 dual-match singles wins in 2021-22, against just two losses. She was 14-5 overall in singles play. Forbes qualified for the NCAA Championships singles tournament and finished the campaign at No. 23 in the ITA/Tennis-Point singles rankings. Her six victories against nationally-ranked singles opponents included a 6-4, 7-5 triumph over No. 5 Eryn Cayetano of USC (Feb. 25). Forbes also went 9-7 in doubles contests, at one point reaching No. 23 in the doubles rankings with partner Ava Catanzarite (March 9). She was voted to the All-Pac-12 First Team for a second time in as many completed seasons.

In the community, Forbes has raised more than $4,000 for childhood cancer research in conjunction with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's Vs. Cancer campaign. She also established a connection with UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital through UCLA Athletics.

Forbes is a founding member of the UCLA Black Student-Athlete Alliance and launched the Black Tennis Student Athlete Alliance on a national level. Through these groups, she has led conversations regarding racial injustice across the United States and helped established safe spaces for Black student-athletes.

Forbes also stood up for equity as one of Voice In Sport's 2020 VISionaries and teamed to empower, connect and support fellow female student-athletes as a member of Female Athletes Stand Together at UCLA. She additionally served on UCLA's Student-Athlete Leadership Team and represented the Pac-12 at the 2021 NCAA Leadership Forum in Houston.

In the classroom, Forbes is a six-time UCLA Athletic Director's Honor Roll member. She was named an ITA Scholar-Athlete in 2020. Forbes' latest award is not her first connected to Bruin great Ashe, as she was tabbed an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar in 2021.