The Black Widow Foundation was envisioned and founded by Jeanette Lee as an all-inclusive non-profit organization committed to the positive development of personal character, leadership skill sets and training of aspiring youth amateur and professional billiards players.
One of the foundation’s major goals was to develop a camp to offer junior players from any and all billiard organization affiliations to attend and prepare them for future high level state, national and international competitions using top level professionals as mentors and instructors.
“My dream has been to bridge the gap between the top juniors and the pros and build the kids into champions on and off the table and this is the answer. I’m so excited.”- Jeanette Lee
In recognition of our willing commitment to U.S. junior players the Black Widow Foundation was invited by the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) and the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) to host and prepare the starting six selected Team USA players for the inaugural 2015 Atlantic Challenge Cup competition held in Rankweil, Austria.
The 2015 U.S. Team’s elite junior training camp was held at Brickyard Billiards in Indianapolis, Indiana and was 100% completely funded by the fiscally responsible Black Widow Foundation including all travel, lodging and food expenses for players and coaches. Volunteers from across the U.S. also came at their own expense to Indianapolis to assist in the Team U.S.A. training including Mark Wilson, Team Lindenwood University, Don Wardell, Rick Doner, Ricky Bryant, and many others.
The entire U.S. team of six players with a few coaches including: April Larson, Taylor Hansen, Nick Evans, Josh Franklin, Drake Niepoetter, Tyler Brandom, Jeanette Lee, Johnny Archer, and team coach Earl Munson were roommates for a week at Jeanette Lee’s home. This private close setting provided the opportunity for the U.S. team and coaches to form a strong bond and confirm how the team would compete together.
The U.S. team’s close knit players showed heart coming back from an 8-3 deficit to finish the event 11-9 with the Europeans winning the inaugural 2015 Atlantic Challenge Cup. The camp was proven to be extremely successful in team bonding and preparing the players for their high levels of competition. Our camps inaugural success was highly praised and appreciated by Team U.S.A. players, coaches, the BEF, the BCA, and the entire billiard industry. “No doubt the Black Widow Foundation camp prepared Team U.S.A. to be competitive with heart. They didn’t give up,” remarked Team U.S.A. coach Munson.
Due to our camp’s positive experience and results with the 2015 Team U.S.A. players the Black Widow Foundation has again been enthusiastically invited to host this year’s 2016 Atlantic Challenge Cup training camp April 20th – 24th at its new headquarters in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The team training host sponsor in the Tampa Bay area will be at Fatsos Billiards with Robertson Billiards also providing donations and sponsor support. We are very proud of the invitation to train these elite juniors and we would like to say a sincere thank you to the many donations, sponsors, and volunteers that will ensure U.S.A. is in contention to winning the “Cup” at this year’s event being held July 8th-11th in Schaumburg, Illinois.
The Black Widow Foundation will again accomplish the training mission by providing the junior 2016 Team U.S.A. with world class professionals, instructors and industry leaders support including: Jeanette Lee, Johnny Archer, Allison Fisher, Nick Varner, Tom Rossman “Dr. Cue”, Tony Crosby, Donny Mills, Rolando Aravena, Don Wardell, Mike Connolly, Rick Doner, and junior Team U.S.A. coach Earl Munson. Enthusiastic industry sponsors will support the team’s training as well such as Simonis providing cloth and tournament balls to the host training site.
Our advanced training curriculum and four day fun packed schedule will ensure a cohesive starting team of 6 players (4 boys and 2 girls) will be selected and prepared for the 2016 Atlantic Challenge Cup competition. The six starting Team U.S.A. players will be selected from the 10 junior players attending the camp who include: April Larson, Serena Black, Sierra Reams, Emily Herpel, Chris Robinson, Tyler Howell, Ryan Ponton, Shane Wolford, Ricky Evans, and Zach Gurganus. These 10 highly intelligent, experienced and skilled junior camp selectees were selected from over 30+ nominees going through an un-biased staged vetting process administered by the BEF through their selection committee comprised of professional players and industry leaders chaired by National Referee Rick Doner. The 10 player group’s cumulative grades are an astounding 3.73 GPA. The sport of billiards has proven to attract and develop academic excellence.
These U.S. players will be become roommates with several pros at Jeanette Lee’s home to create a cohesive team bonding atmosphere with intense instruction in advanced mental and game playing skills. Our camp goal is to provide these juniors a life lasting experience and knowledge to respectfully compete and win this year’s 2016 Atlantic Challenge Cup, the 2016 BEF Junior Nationals, the 2016 Junior World Championships, or any future events these juniors may attend.
American pride will be on the line for these juniors and the Black Widow Foundation has 100% committed its financial and world class training resources to ensure Team U.S.A. will be prepared for the 2016 Atlantic Challenge Cup. Please be part of the Black Widow Foundation, Billiard Education Foundation and Team U.S.A. by providing your financial and moral support.
Together we can bring back the competitive spirit of America by rebuilding our sport from the grassroots junior level. Thank you and from Jeanette Lee and the Black Widow Foundation we would like to say…Go Team U.S.A.!