Bankgok Patana Alum (Grad’17) and Carleton College senior Leo Vithoontien has been named the 2021 MIAC Arthur Ashe Award winner. The award annually recognises a senior men’s tennis student-athlete who exhibits outstanding characteristics of being a good sport and exemplary athletic, academic, and humanitarian accomplishments.
Leo attended Bangkok Patana for 15 years and he was an active and integral part of the Tennis Academy, playing on many BISAC, SEASAC and FOBISIA teams. Bangkok Patana Tennis Academy Head Coach Daniel Ahl said the award was well deserved by Leo, who showed focus and dedication in improving his tennis skills while pursuing his academic courses and completing the rigorous IB Diploma course.
From MIAC Athletics: Vithoontien (Sr. | Bangkok, Thailand | Patana School) earned his third consecutive Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-America honor last spring and wrapped up the 2021 regular season with a perfect 6-0 record in conference play as the Knights’ No. 1 singles competitor along with a 5-1 mark in MIAC doubles play. For his career, Vithoontien is 52-2 at No. 1 singles.
“I have worked with many fine student-athletes, but few display the talent, sense of fair play, and unselfish devotion to the team that typifies Leo,” Carleton head coach Stephan Zweifel said.
The NCAA national runner-up in 2019, Vithoontien came to the United States from Thailand four years ago to begin his academic career at Carleton College. Four years later, he has not only found a sense of belonging but also a sense of purpose on the tennis court as the Knights’ team captain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am not naturally a very vocal person, but I tried to lead by example as best as I could,” Vithoontien said of his approach to leadership. “I made sure the guys saw I was continuing to work as hard as possible in practice and continued to try and display patience and tranquility during times of frustration.”