Rajeev Ram has earned more than $4 million playing tennis on the ATP Tour. So, he chooses to give back to the sport because it’s the right thing to do, not for accolades.
The 2002 Carmel High School graduate said he will accept the 2018 Indiana Pathfinder Award from the Indiana Sports Corp. on behalf of all those who have helped him with his EntouRaj for Kids charity.
“It’s nice my name gets recognition, but, to be honest, this is a group effort,” Ram said. “I am certainly proud of the accomplishments and humbled by the award, but the bigger picture is we have had many great people that have helped us on staff as well as donors. It’s my responsibility to give back because the sport has given a lot to me, but a lot of these people are doing it just because it’s a good thing to do. I certainly appreciate that.”
Ram will accept the award alongside National Pathfinder Award recipient Andy Roddick at the Indiana Roof Ballroom during a Nov. 13 luncheon.
“Ram exemplifies the qualities we look for in a Pathfinder Award winner,” stated Ryan Vaughn, president of Indiana Sports Corp., in announcing the award Oct. 12. “Not only is Ram an accomplished professional, he’s taken his passion for tennis and used it to positively impact the youth of our community through his EntouRaj for Kids charity.”
For several years, Ram brought in fellow pros to hold exhibitions to raise funds. The last event was in 2016.
“I spoke to some other guys on tour and then found success holding clinics for some of the bigger donors or have experiences at tournaments, such as Cincinnati and the U.S. Open,” Ram said. “We redefined the mission a little bit that our focus is local high school tennis programs, which are in need of funding to survive. They can apply for grants from us. It’s a great platform for a high schooler to go out and do something that is going to be productive both physically and socially. It’s something kids can do no matter how good or bad they are at the sport.”
Ram, 34, is adjusting to his full year on the tour concentrating on playing doubles only.
“It’s been an up-and-down year, not one of my better years,” Ram said. “I’m quite prepared to go into 2019. I still enjoy it and don’t see myself stopping, barring some unforeseen circumstances.”
Ram qualified for the ATP World Tour finals in doubles in 2016 and 2017 but missed out in 2018.
For more, visit entourajforkids.org.