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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Embree in SI; Dabrowski at Crossroads, Niu and Family on Move to Evert Academy

Lauren Embree is a Face in the Crowd in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated. One of the magazine's most popular features over the years, it now highlights one player by directing readers to a video on the web, and Embree was chosen. Takkle, which is apparently Sports Illustrated's answer to Rise, the ESPN high school sports magazine, hosts the video, which is the one I took at the USTA Girls 18 Clay Courts in Memphis this year. To watch it, just be patient, it will autoload and after a few moments will show Embree.

Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski is the subject of a feature by Stephanie Myles of the Montreal Gazette, who spoke to the 2008 US International Grass Court champion in New York this year. One of the most poignant quotes, in an article with many, is:

"I remember provincials and nationals, I would play so well because I didn't care how I did," she recalled. "I was just having a good time playing and fighting. Now I feel like everything is closing in on me; I have to win so my name gets noticed, stuff like that."

And as Myles points out:
That's the reality of the junior tennis racket: At some point, it's no longer fun and games. It becomes a business.

To quote John Mellencamp--Hold on to 16 as long as you can, changes come around real soon make us women and men.

Soon to be 15-year-old Belinda Niu of Portland, Ore., is now training at Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, and the Portland Tribune, which published this story about her a couple of weeks ago, had another article yesterday, with comments from her parents and coach, all of whom are aware of the pros and cons of such a move. Evan King and his parents went through the same process last summer, and he appears to have thrived at the USTA High Performance Center in Boca Raton, after leaving his home in Chicago and his high school there. It's a tough, tough choice that no one takes lightly.


scott said...

Embree verbally committed to Florida on Sunday. I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that she picked Florida. And it sounds like she's planning to go the college route, so if she does make it to campus, this is a big pick up for the Gators. Let's hope they can keep her.

Article in the Naple News about her commitment and her being in SI.