Drew Hassenbein Foundation established to support underprivileged tennis players

Drew Hassenbein Foundation established to support underprivileged tennis players
Roslyn varsity tennis player Drew Hassenbein, shown here in a match last season, was one of two kids killed in a drunk-driving accident Wednesday night. (Photo credit: Long Island Tennis Magazine)

The death of Drew Hassenbein, a 14-year-old rising tennis star from Roslyn, has been a tragedy to the community and beyond.

But the Hassenbein family is ensuring his legacy lives on in the tennis community through the establishment of the Drew Hassenbein Foundation, a 5013c that to help underprivileged kids explore tennis.

A GoFundMe page has helped the foundation raise nearly $300,000 to date.

Drew Hassenbein and fellow teammate Ethan Falkowitz, also 14, were killed on May 3 when they were hit by a car operated by an alleged drunk driver. Both were Roslyn Middle School students playing on the Roslyn High School boys varsity tennis team.

The two boys were in the car with Roslyn High School varsity tennis teammates and Roslyn High School students Zach Sheena, 17, and Ethan Solop, 16, on their way back from a dinner celebrating a match victory over Syosset High School, according to multiple reports.

Sheena and Solop were treated in a hospital for internal injuries and were in stable condition, the Nassau County Police said.

The driver of the Dodge Ram that struck their car, Roslyn resident Amandeep Singh, 34, was arrested and treated at a local hospital for minor injuries, according to police.

Singh was charged with multiple offenses, including aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter leaving the scene of an auto accident with a fatality, driving while intoxicated and two counts of second-degree assault.

Drew Hassenbein was at one point the No. 1-ranked tennis player in the nation for the Boys 12 and Under division. He was already being scouted by nationally acclaimed college tennis programs, despite only being in eighth grade, according to reports.

“My son was on a great path and I believe there are other kids out there that can achieve that if they are shown the right way and have the right support,” Mitch Hassenbein, Drew Hassenbein’s father, said. “So hopefully the Drew Hassenbein Foundation will be an avenue for that.”

Mitch Hassenbein said the purpose of the charity foundation is to help underprivileged kids who seek to follow young, rising tennis players like his son in their pursuit.

“If you don’t have some means, you almost can’t get the racket, the equipment, the training to try to make it in the sport,” Mitch Hassenbein said.

He said the family is still in the process of establishing the foundation, but are working to get it up and running as soon as possible. In the meantime, they started a GoFundMe to start raising money immediately.

In one week, nearly $300,000 have been donated to the foundation through 2,400 donations. The goal is to raise $500,000.

The top donation comes from “Venmo Contributions from Tennis Community, Friends, and Family,” which donated $7,657 early in the fundraiser.

Donators have the opportunity to share words of support, with 125 posting messages to share their condolences and support with the Hassenbein family.

“Our family is devastated by his loss and is so appreciative of the incredible outpouring of support and people’s desire to help,” the GoFundMe bio states.

Mitch Hassenbein said the family was inspired to establish this foundation to keep Drew Hassenbein’s legacy alive.

“He was a special boy and we want to try to continue his legacy for him, and parent his legacy through something good,” he said. “Finding young kids, introducing them to tennis and supporting young, aspiring juniors with the sport would be a great way to keep his memory alive.”

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