Adaptive Sports Scholar: Chris Kelley

Man wearing a fabric mask in an athletic wheelchair on a tennis court in front of a tennis net.
Picture from B-Adaptive Foundation

Chris Kelly is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He is originally from the west side of the state of Michigan. He has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition that causes him to have brittle bones, making him prone to frequent fractures. Due to this he is unable to play contact sports. He is enrolled in the Master’s in Sports Management through the College of Kinesiology. He is a decorated wheelchair tennis player and some of his accolades include a 1st place finish at the USTA Wheelchair National Championships in St. Louis in 2019.

Tennis Career

  • 2019 singles tournament record of 31-3 while competing in Chicago, Alabama, Hilton Head, St. Louis, East Lansing, Oregon, Grand Rapids, Nashville, New York, and Augusta.
  • Chris was able to finish the year with a singles record of 2 in the United States in the Men’s A division. He is looking into moving into the Open division which is the highest competitive level available.
  • Defeated the highest-ranked A player in the US at the US OPEN USTA Wheelchair Championships.
  • Represented the Junior USA team in Turkey for the 2013 World Team Cup.
  • Currently on the USTA Team USA high performance developmental team.
  • Competed at the Wheelchair tennis collegiate championships two years while representing Grand Valley State University.

Academics

  • Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Grand Valley State University with a major in Social Work.
  • Outstanding achievement in field placement during undergraduate internship.

Personal

  • Raised in Grand Haven, Michigan.
  • Volunteers with the USTA to grow and spread tennis around the Midwest by assisting in tennis camps and clinics.
  • Coaches able-bodied tennis at his local tennis club. Also has a passion for coaching and expanding wheelchair tennis. 

 

Kelley playing tennis
Kelley playing tennis
Kelley playing tennis