Today on ESPN.COM, Jim Caple, a columnist on the popular Page 2 website, revealed a list entitled 101 things all sports fans must experience before they die. There are the expected entries of Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500, World Series, Masters, Michigan vs. Ohio State, Wimbledon. And then, down at No. 71, is this entry:
The USTA boys tennis championship (August, Kalamazoo, Mich.). This seven-decade-old tournament is where John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors behaved like brats when they literally were still brats. Other participants include Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.
Even given the 65 years of history here and the quirky nature of some of the other 100 events on the list, I wasn't expecting that. Junior tennis is so far off the mainstream sports radar, I can't imagine who told Caple that it belonged on the list. But it does. If you haven't been here, think about making the pilgrimage this year.
The eight players making up the U.S. Pan American games team were announced today by the USTA. The four men are Stephen Bass of Notre Dame, Travis Helgeson of Georgia, Todd Paul of Wake Forest and Luke Shields of Boise State. The four women competing in Rio next month are Audra Cohen of Miami, Megan Falcon of LSU, Natalie Frazier of Georgia and Kristi Miller of Georgia Tech. Kent Kinnear, formerly of Illinois, is coaching the men and Brian Kalbas of North Carolina will coach the women.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007