Amanda Sobhy, Willstrop and White to Celebrate Spirit of St. Louis Foundation Awards

The Spirit of Saint Louis Squash Foundation is proud to announce that John White, Amanda Sobhy and James Willstrop will attend its Annual Gala on April 19 and 20, 2024, when the 2024 winners of the National High School Squash Players of the Years Awards are honored.

White is the head coach of Drexel University’s squash program.  Through ten seasons, he elevated both the men’s and women’s teams to national prominence.  He coached nine College Squash Association All-Americans.  A native of Australia, he is a former top-ranked player who earned 12 Professional Squash Association (PSA) titles.  He was ranked Number 1 in the world in March 2004, after several international victories including the 2003 PSA Masters in Qatar, the 2003 Prince English Open and the Scottish National Championship.  He is a fan favorite known as one of the hardest hitters with his shots clocked at a world-record 172 miles per hour.

Sobhy became the first U.S. player to win a world junior title, and the first sixteen-year-old to win four professional titles.  At Harvard, she achieved a remarkable 62-0 undefeated career, including three team titles and four college individual titles.  She is the first U.S.-born male or female to reach the world’s top ten rankings, which she cracked in 2015.  She spent forty-six consecutive months in the world’s top ten and reached a career high of world No. 3 in 2021.  She captured nineteen titles on the PSA Tour, and she has won five U.S. Women’s Championship titles.  She represented Team USA in three Pan American Championships, two Pan American Games and five World Team Championships.  She won three gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games and at the 2019 Pan American Games.  Interestingly, on April 24, 2010 at age seventeen, she won the Racquet Club International Tournament in St. Louis.

Willstrop is one of the most exciting players on the PSA World Tour whose attacking style of play has seen him reach the pinnacle of the game.  He is known as ‘The Marksman’ in recognition of his almost unparalleled accurate shot placement.  He embarked on a professional career in 2002 following success as a junior which saw him crowned British, European and World Junior Champion.  He earned World No.1 in January 2012 when he remained unbeaten on the PSA World Tour for fifteen consecutive matches and claimed the PSA Hong Kong Squash Open, Kuwait Squash Open and PSA Punj Lloyd Squash Masters.  In 2013, Willstrop won his third World team title, after winning the 2013 Men’s World Team Squash Championships.  He continued to compete into his thirties and won two silver medals at the 2017 Men’s World Team Squash Championships and the 2019 Men’s World Team Squash Championships.  He also won the gold medal in singles and the bronze medal in the doubles at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.  In 2019 and 2020, he won the British National title.  At the 2022 Commonwealth Games, he won the gold medal in men’s doubles.

Foundation Chairman Craig W. Ashmore said that “the Foundation is thrilled these respected squash professionals are joining us in St. Louis to honor the High School Players of the Year.  These professionals will share their talents and experiences with the award winners and provide exciting exhibition matches for those who attend the Gala.  We look forward to sharing the weekend with these professionals, the award winners and their families.”

Each year, the Foundation honors the top male and female high school players nationally, regionally and locally.  At its expense, the Foundation hosts these players and their families for an exciting weekend in St. Louis culminating with the Annual Gala at the Racquet Club where their perpetual trophies and commemorative plates are presented.

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to advancing squash across the United States.