Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Akilah James
Height: 5'6"
Year: Senior
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
High School: South Carolina State

2013-14: Received the 2014 ITA Most Improved Senior of the Year Award…Recorded a 12-7 singles record at Nos. 3 and 4…Posted a 17-4 doubles record mostly at the No. 3 spot.

2012-13: Received the 2013 Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award for the southwest region…Posted a 13-11 singles record in her debut season as a Wildcat at the No. 3 and 4 spots…Recorded a 16-8 doubles record playing at Nos. 2 and 3.

South Carolina State: Went 13-1 overall and 6-0 in conference play at the No.2 and 3 singles spots and 9-0 as at the No. 1 doubles spot in her sophomore year. Earned Rookie of the Year honors, the First Team Award and the Bronze Academic Award.

High School: Graduated from Gibbs High School in New York, N.Y.

Coach Maes’ Take: “Akilah is a terrific athlete. She has speed, power and a strong presence on the court. She brings a certain maturity to our team which will benefit this group. I strongly believe that Kiki is going to improve a ton this year because of the structure and intensity we provide at practice each day. She is determined to make a move in the rankings and I know she has the ability and commitment to do so. Kiki plays a high-energy game and can compete with the best of ‘em.”


Biggest Influence of tennis career: Family—they’re always supportive in my decisions.

Spends free time: Watching movies, eating, singing, spending time with family and friends.

Favorite places to play tennis other than Arizona: Brooklyn, New York City

Hidden Talent: Dancing

Favorite Sport other than Tennis: Basketball and table tennis

Favorite TV Show/Movie: Love and Basketball, Bride Wars and Good Times

Favorite Food: West Indian and Mexican

Why she chose Arizona: “I love Coach Maes, the team and the atmosphere.”

On Coach Maes: “Coach Maes will stay on the court for hours, she’s well-dedicated and wants to see the team grow on and off the court.”