USTA Announces Team for Next Month's Collegiate Master'U BNP Paribas; Sean Karl Signs with Tennessee
The USTA announced today the three men and three women who will represent the United States in the annual international collegiate competition in France next month, defending the title they won last year.
Lauren Embree of Florida, Jacqueline Cako of Arizona State and Zoe Scandalis of Southern California make up the women's team, with Jarmere Jenkins, Evan King and Raymond Sarmiento the men representing the US. Embree, Cako and Jenkins were on last year's Master'U BNP Paribas championship team.
This is the fifth consecutive year the US will compete against seven other countries, with this year's teams coming from Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and Russia. The competition is Dec. 5-9 in Aix-en-Provence, with Greg Patton of Boise State again coaching the men, and Cal's Amanda Augustus coaching the women.
For the complete release, see usta.com.
Of all the National Letter of Intent signings this week, none is more noteworthy than the one that has Sean Karl now officially at Tennessee. Karl had verbally committed to the Volunteers months ago, long before he was diagnosed with cancer, but until he signed, NCAA rules did not allow the school to acknowledge him. Obviously, many of his friends on the team were able to individually pay tribute to him (see the photo accompanying the article on his signing on the athletic website) as he began chemotherapy last week, but the institution itself could not.
As the release states, Karl's illness has touched nearly everyone in the tennis community, with Roger Federer showing his support in a video (Paul Annacone, Federer's coach, is a former Volunteer), and Rafael Nadal providing a signed Babolat racquet, while high school and college teams, and hundreds of his friends from the juniors, have also reached out to him.
The family now has a website, prayforsean.com, where inexpensive hats and T-shirts can be purchased, with the proceeds going to help the Karl family. Links to the group facebook page, the caring bridge page and a meal signup page are also included there.
Yesterday, Lisa Stone of Parenting Aces wrote a heartfelt post entitled simply "Community" that conveys how much the sport has given us all. I've been around junior tennis long enough to see its dark side, but that will never keep me from appreciating all that it can offer to children, parents, coaches and fans of the game.