COLLEGE PARK, Md. (DC News Now) — Prince George’s County celebrated Francis Tiafoe Day on Friday, September 16 at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in College Park, Maryland.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks officially proclaimed the day for the celebration.

“That’s wild. That’s crazy to have a Frances Tiafoe day, but I’m truly blessed. Nothing in life is given. Everything is earned. So you know I worked hard for this,” Tiafoe said. “I just want everybody to know that anything in life is possible if you really go for it and always believe in yourself. You know you gotta believe in yourself before anybody else believes in you.

Tiafoe’s parents and many members of the JTCC community were in attendance.

“He is a part of our community. We always say greatness grows in Prince George’s County and I think he’s exhibit A,” Alsobrooks said. “The kind of dedication and the kind of grit and perseverance, the story is so beautiful with his family. So this is just a wonderful for our county and community and I think he just represents us so well.”

Now ranked No. 19 in the world, Tiafoe is the first American man to make it to the U.S. Open semifinal since Andy Murray in 2006 and the first African-American man since Arthur Ashe in 1972. It was Tiafoe’s best finish in a grand slam tournament in his career. Tiafoe upset Rafael Nadal to advance to the quarterfinals.

The JTCC held watch parties, for the quarterfinals at the center and for the semifinals at a restaurant in College Park. Young tennis players excitedly watched and cheered on Tiafoe at the watch parties, along with others involved with the JTCC.

“That meant a lot to me. Seeing all these little kids just being so so hyped up and in a place I grew up at and everyone watching over me and just wanting the best for me,” Tiafoe told DC News Now. “Hopefully they can be doing the same thing and if not, so on and so forth better.”

Tiafoe’s parents moved to America from Sierra Leone before he was born. His father Frances Tiafoe Sr. helped build the JTCC, while his mother worked as a nurse.

“It’s amazing. All we can say is just thank you God,” Tiafoe’s mother Alphina Kamara said. “Because he worked so hard.”

Tiafoe’s father worked at the JTCC after its completion and the family lived on the grounds for some years, as Tiafoe learned the game of tennis there.

“When they started here, they were only three-years-old, four-years-old just running around,” Frances Tiafoe Sr. said. “For us to be in this situation now, it’s like my dream came true. I’m really really happy for what God has done for my family.”

As for what’s next, Tiafoe said “Frances Tiafoe doesn’t even know what’s next for Frances Tiafoe.”