As one of the better junior development coaches in the country, that’s an honor not to be taken lightly.
Other members of the first Team USA Coaching Legends class include iconic professional tennis coaches Nick Bollettieri and Robert Lansdorf and well-known junior coach Jack Sharpe.
“Jerry, Nick, Robert and Jack have given so much to the game,” McEnroe said in a press release. “They deserve even more recognition for their hard work, dedication and achievement.”
Bollettieri’s claim to fame was launching his own academy in Bradenton, Fla. and attracting numerous top players worldwide. He also coached standouts such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Jim Courier and the Williams sisters.
Lansdorp, who has taught tennis since the 1960s, groomed many Grand Slam champions that includes Tracy Austin, Pete Sampras, Lindsey Davenport and Maria Sharapova, and Sharpe is currently coaching a few of the nation’s top-ranked juniors at Hinsdale Racquet Club in Chicago.
Baskin, who has coached 2005 U.S. Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri, was honored alongside his three fellow coaches at the Team USA Coaching Awards reception last Wednesday in Indian Wells, Calif.
“It was an honor to be recognized with these guys,” said Baskin, who now runs the Baskin McGill Academy at the East Cobb Swim and Tennis Center with his son Craig Baskin and daughter Kelly Baskin McGill. “What meant the most to me were how many emails and texts I got from former students.”
“Am I a great coach? I don’t know. But I’m a great listener and imitator. Every time I go to the tournament, I like to listen to local pros give lessons and put my own spin on it.”
While Baskin still has a keen interest in learning from others, he requires his students to develop an attacking weapon – a forehand, backhand or serve – and good foot speed. As much as he stresses those two traits to his budding tennis players, his ability to listen also allows flexibility.
“If I can’t figure something out, (Baskin) will help you and guide you in the right direction,” Walton’s Jonathan He said. “And if I feel like something about my game that’s not going well, he’s flexible and he can help me work through it.”
A former math and English teacher at North Cobb, Baskin switched to teaching tennis fulltime when his part-time tennis job exceeded his teaching salary.
It was at the Marietta Country Club where he first launched his academy, and has now helped more than 300 players earn college scholarships. Along the way, he’s helped develop tennis professionals -- Ginepri, former Harrison High School standout Bobby Reynolds and Brian Vahaly.
Baskin also coached the vast majority Walton girls tennis players who helped the program win 158 straight matches, a state record in all sports, and eight straight state championships.
Other Baskin accolades included being named United States Olympic Committee Coach of the Year in 2002. He was also a 2004 Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame inductee.
Baskin has been running the Baskin-McGill Academy for nearly a year. He was previously a partial-owner with Ginepri at Olde Towne Athletic Club before parting ways in June of last year.