Thursday, May 13, 2010

Profile: Dedan Tolbert of Tennis Philly

Dedan’s Other Place: The Tennis Court

Dedan Tolbert is such a busy guy, it’s a wonder he finds time to play tennis. He’s an author, advice columnist and host of “The Dedan Tolbert Show," his daily radio talk show about love, romance and life partners, which airs weeknights at 9:00 p.m. EST nationwide.

So, when Dedan Tolbert talks about partners, he’s not only referring to tennis partners. He also means romantic partnerships, which are a central topic of his radio show. Dedan prides himself on helping women avoid many of the uncomfortable circumstances they often find themselves in by giving advice that encourages self reflection and examination.

Dedan plays in the Tennis Philly league, where he has been a member of the competitive division since May 2007. With a 3.25 skill level and an overall league record of 78-54, it’s clear that he is a formidable opponent. He is also a true Tennis Philly fan. “It’s great,” he says, “because it allows you to play competitive tennis on the same skill level, as well as being extremely convenient.”

While many players have found their area leagues through an Internet search, Dedan found his way to Tennis Philly when he saw a flyer posted at the Allens Lane courts in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy neighborhood. And just how often does he play? Last summer his daily play won him the “Player of the Year” award because he played so many matches. “I plan on doing that again this season” he says.

However, with so much going on professionally, including “Ask Dedan” freelance articles and video blogs, this is truly a great feat. How does he do it? Dedan explains that he plays on his days off (and when might those be?) and in the morning before meetings.

Dedan started young. He began to play at age 5 (a year younger than Andre Agassi), when he was in camp, and continued to play through elementary school, high school and college. After that there was a hiatus. He then returned to tennis in 2005, just two years before he joined Tennis Philly.

One of his memorable matches took place two seasons ago in the fall season, which extends into October. “The weather was horrible,” Dedan says, so it was a two-part match. Like the 2008 baseball World Series (which the Phillies won) part one was played in snow and sleet, “so we played it over 2 days.”

“I really enjoy the league, Dedan says. “I introduced one guy to it a year ago. I spread the word and tell as many people as possible so that the league can continue to grow.”

(You can listen to “The Dedan Tolbert Show” weeknights at 9:00pm EST by calling 646-200-0366 or logging onto

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