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Tennis involvement, academic excellence pay off for MHS grad
TEN--USTA Scholarship-Ma file 1
Yok Eyh Ma returns a shot during the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III finals No. 3 singles match at the University of the Pacific. - photo by Photo By Sean Kahler

Manteca High graduate Yok Eyh Ma might be finished with competitive tennis, but he’s still racking up awards.

The Valley Oak League doubles champion is among 31 student-athletes nationwide to be awarded scholarship money from the United State Tennis Association Foundation.

The USTA Foundation announced Wednesday that he will receive the $10,000 College Educational Scholarship. A total of $300,000 — with each scholarship ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 was divvied out to the award winners. 

Ma’s older brother, Yok Jing, who is entering his third year at UC Davis, also received the College Educational Scholarship in 2015.

“It was very surprising to me,” Yok Eyh said. “I thought I’d win some small amount, that’s all I was looking for. When I saw I won money, and quite a bit of money, it was very satisfying and unexpected.”

The USTA Foundation rewards young players who excel academically, participate in community service and in an organized tennis program. Applicants were also required to pen an essay on how tennis has impacted their lives and what they’ve done to give back to the sport.

“Tennis taught me how to persevere through hardships,” said Ma, adding that being a part of Manteca High’s tennis team and youth programs through the city helped him become more outgoing. He is also grateful for Manteca tennis coach and teacher Frank Fontana, whom he calls“a big influence in my tennis experience.”

Ma carried a 4.2 grade point average at Manteca and is heading to UC Irvine. He is undeclared but plans on pursuing a career in the engineering field. Although he’d like to continue playing for a recreational club while in college, he said his “focus will be a lot more on studying.”

Ma helped Manteca capture the VOL and Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championships as the Buffaloes’ No. 3 singles player this past spring. He teamed with fellow senior Dhillon Patel to win the VOL Doubles Tournament title, beating 

Applications for the 2018 USTA Foundation scholarships open in December. For more information, visit or email