Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Lilo Pelegrino, Assistant Tennis Director at the North Hills Club, is an incredibly valuable part of the Raleigh Tennis Community and is loved by the players at North Hills. Ask any of the members and they will tell you that Lilo is an extraordinary person, athlete, coach, and leader. He is an incredibly valuable part of the North Hills Club family. “Every single day he comes to work with a huge, infectious smile on his face, spreading joy wherever he goes. He works tirelessly and makes each player at NHC feel special and like true players regardless of their level,” says one of many that nominated him. Lilo’s leadership abilities are endless. Every relationship and interaction with Lilo are marked by his trademark candor, empathy, and enthusiasm. Leading by example, with empathy and understanding, he is an expert at bringing out the strengths in every member of the team and bringing them together to tackle whatever problem or challenge needs to be solved. According to his players, Lilo looks at players as individuals—not just USTA levels. “He learns your game by watching and listening and takes that info to come up with ways to actually level up the player, “one member commented when asked about Lilo. “He is also hysterical, thoughtful and works harder than anyone I know. He is smart, resourceful and has led NHC through big transitions and always focuses on the good all around.” But more than that and what makes Lilo the best candidate for this award this year is the incredible work, effort and time he put into not just maintaining the North Hill Club’s program but growing it. During that time, Lilo stepped in as the interim head of tennis for the club and maintained all of his other duties. Additionally, he is as enthusiastic, affable and enjoyable in his first lesson of the day as he is in his last. He has an attitude of joy and gratitude with a bit of mischief thrown in for good measure! Originally from Brazil, Lilo’s main sport was soccer. After freshman year in high school, soccer wasn't an option anymore, so he discovered tennis. He fondly remembers his dad dropping him off on the tennis courts after school. After high school, he had the opportunity to come to the US to attend the University of Mount Olive, where he played tennis and soccer. Certified through USPTA and Pickleball certified through PPR, Lilo has been at North Hills Club for almost 8 years, working with every age group and level: ranging from beginner juniors and adults to kids that went to play at D1, like Duke, UNC, Penn State and others. He also coaches adult teams that are all in: "playing with the passion and drive to win it all." Lilo’s self-professed goal as Assistant Tennis Director at North Hills Club is that he wants everyone that he interacts with to have a good experience. From coworkers, to lessons he teaches to anyone who he comes in contact with during his day, Lilo just enjoys coaching and considers himself lucky to get the opportunity to interact with such a great group of people every day. We are extremely proud to name Lilo as Raleigh’s 2021 Tennis Pro of the Year!
Lilo with his award
Julie Dick, RTA Executive Director presenting Lilo with the Pro of the Year Award
Lilo making another great shot!
Hosted at NHC, Lilo led efforts in organizing the first Annual Cy King of the Court Pro-Am.
Lilo played on Team Wake Orthopaedics, the Raleigh Pro League Champions in 2021