The True Value of College Tennis
Yesterday, the following popped up on my Facebook timeline:
I have dedicated the first part of my life to this sport. It has given me much more than I could ever give back. Through my biggest triumphs and my most painful defeats it has shaped me into who I am today. I have given this sport my blood, sweat, and tears and I have represented Presbyterian College to the best of my ability. I have grown up with tennis as if it were my twin sibling. It has taught me so much about myself and about life, and given me countless life-long relationships along the way. Tennis has shown me deeper understanding of what sacrifice and hard work are capable of producing. We didn’t end the season the way we wanted and I didn’t end my career the way I would have preferred, but I find peace in knowing that I have made life long friends in the process. I love this sport, I love my school and I love my teammates. All of them – past and present. I owe them and my coaches everything that I have achieved on the court and off the court in my 4 years at PC. Being their captain these last two years has been the greatest honor of my life. I would not trade my four years at PC for anything in this world. Thanks to everyone who supports me from all corners of the world, and lastly thank you to my parents with whom I will forever be in debt with. Ready for what’s next. Peace 🎾
It was posted by Danny Bruce, a young man I had the privilege of meeting a little over 5 years ago when my son played his first season of high school tennis. At the time, Danny was a senior, the only one of the 5 seniors on the team who had plans to play at the collegiate level. He and my son quickly bonded, and Danny became a sort-of mentor, agreeing to hit with my son – a scrawny freshman! – during team practices and driving my son home after practice on many occasions. I can only imagine the conversations that went on in the front seat of that truck!
Since that first season, I have periodically run into Danny at various tennis tournaments and events (he came back to Atlanta each summer and helped out his junior coach, Jerry Baskin) and have become friends with his college coach, Adam Herendeen (now the women’s coach at Furman University), who always speaks very highly of Danny. I follow the Presbyterian team on all the various social media outlets, so I knew about Danny’s last match at PC. That outcome makes his words above even more special.
This young man sees beyond wins and losses to the underlying value of his chosen sport. That he is able to express his feelings so eloquently is a true testament to his maturity, his ethos, and his upbringing.
Danny, I know your family is proud. I wish you only good things as you go out into the world and make your mark.