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Tennis Lessons with a Twist

At the start, this looks like your typical tennis camp. A group of kids taking swings and volleys, a little backhand and a little forehand.

But something is different.

There’s also a bit of U.S. history and even math. Ray Bachiller includes all of it in the lesson — for free!

But there are a few important requirements.

“You’ve got to have nothing but A’s and B’s. You get a C, you’re on probation until you bring it up. If you get all A’s, I’ll give you free shoes, free rackets, free equipment.”

Ray comes along with quite the resume.

He served for 32 years with the U.S. Marines and was so close to retirement around 2001, but he then received a direct order from his supervisor:

“‘You’re going to Utah whether you like it or not — you’ve been involuntarily extended,'” Ray recalls. “And I came out here and we survived the Olympics. I learned an awful lot about Utah and decided this was just a wonderful place to live.”

It was back then that Ray decided to get involved with tennis and to serve in a different way: on the court.

“I realized it cost a lot of money to play tennis here. I have a retirement and I want to give back to the country to my community so I started teaching for free.”

The kids in the camp give Ray a great deal of respect.

“He is incredible. He literally can change your forehand, your backhand, whatever, in just a couple minutes,” Brynn Thayer says.

“He has high expectations with good grades, serving the community,” Cody Shipman says. “And it really just shows his confidence in this young generation.”

When we got to the court, it was time for a special High 5 and a big thanks to America First Credit Union.

“Not only do I want to give Ray a High 5 for all that he’s done, but we’d also like Ray to open up this Jeep. We have a special surprise.”

There’s plenty more equipment for many more tennis lessons and life lessons to come.

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