Athlete of the Week: Taylor "Woodie" McKnight

This week's athlete of the week is a champion on and off the court.

Taylor "Woodie" McKnight is a fixture at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center. His success there took him to this year's US Open.

"Some people are just born to do something. You're born to do some things, and I truly believe, deep in my heart, that I was born to play tennis," McKnight said.

For the last five years, tennis has been a kind of therapy for McKnight.

In 2007, the teen lost his father, Dr. Arnold McKnight.{ }

"He was just there, all the time. He was the reason I got into tennis," Woodie explained.

But his father's death was why he quit.

"Things were just spiraling downward, just going down to a deep, dark state," Woodie said. "...just recently, I've been coming out of that and being able to see the light and see a bright future for myself."

He's found comfort on the court, spending seven days a week there, and it's paid off. He won a youth event at the 2012 U.S. Open.

Woodie hopes to make tennis his life's work by going pro.