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Friday, December 22, 2017

My Junior Orange Bowl Recap; Sports Illustrated Investigates Adderall Prevalance in College Sports; Wu, Venus Awarded ATP New Zealand Wild Cards

My recap of the Junior Orange Bowl is now available at the Tennis Recruiting Network.  American Elvina Kalieva took the girls 14s title and Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan added the boys 14s title to his championship at the Eddie Herr. In the 12s, Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic won the girls title and Japan's Lennon Jones captured the boys title.  I was surprised to discover that until this year, no player from Japan had won a Junior Orange Bowl title in the 56 years the tournament has been played.  As I mentioned in Thursday's post, videos of all four finals are available through this link.

In the December 4th issue of Sports Illustrated, Jon Wertheim published a lengthy article on the recent drug scandal involving the University of Georgia's men's team, which is now available online. When the news broke, back in May, that associate head coach Bo Hodge had been arrested, he was dismissed from his position.  Alex Diaz, son of longtime coach Manny Diaz, was also arrested with the purchase and sale of the drug Adderall the reason for the charges.  The Georgia mess serves as a jumping off spot for the major theme of the article: the prevalence of Adderall in college sports, and whether it serves as a performance enhancer for those who are not diagnosed with ADHD, but find ways to access the drug without a prescription.  Anyone sending a child, athlete or not, off to college, should be aware of the possibility for abuse that accompanies this particular medication.

I've had only a couple of days of off-season, but professional tennis has been quiet for a few weeks, so it's time to start anticipating the first events of 2018.  The ATP's ASB Classic in New Zealand, which begins January 1st, has announced its wild cards, with former LSU star and French Open doubles champion Michael Venus of New Zealand getting a wild card into the singles draw, along with US Open boys champion Wu Yibing of China. Wu is referred to as the world's best junior, and he did get to the No. 1 spot after his title in New York, but Argentina's Axel Geller finished the year as the ITF World Junior Champion.