Samuel Kennedy is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He was an All-American basketball player and Hall of Fame Inductee in high school and college. His introduction to tennis began by invitation to a tennis practice at Wake Forest University. Initially, Sam didn't believe tennis was a sport for boys. However, his natural athletic abilities enabled him to soar at the sport. In 1986, Sam moved to Atlanta. It was at the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta that his journey working with disadvantaged youth began.
A decade later, he became the CEO of the South Atlanta Community Tennis Association to continue his outreach work among Atlanta's multicultural and low-income neighborhoods. In an effort to expand tennis and education programming throughout the metro Atlanta area, Sam served in the capacity of Head Coach and Life Skills Coordinator for the Atlanta Youth Tennis & Education Foundation from 2009-2018. Sam is driven to ensure that underserved youth have access to tennis and education as a vehicle to transform lives. Because of his relentless work, Sam has been the recipient of numerous awards such as the CARE Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Atlanta in 1991, the USTA Southern NJTL Chapter of the Year Award in 2005, USTA Southern Educational Merit Award in 2011, and the USTA Georgia Family of the Year Award in 2017, just to name a few.
Sam is all about making a lasting impact on underserved youth and the community. He has secured college scholarships for over 50 junior players, including his two sons, Zack and Sam Kennedy whom he coached to receive scholarships to play at Georgia State University and Columbus State University. Coach Sam has coached numerous teams to City Championships and ALTA Championships, both junior and adult. And according to Coach Sam, there is still work left to be done.