Ole Miss Men’s Tennis Made of 89% International Students

By: Betsy Lynch and Stephanie Konkle

While the Ole Miss Men’s tennis team is made up of mostly international students, under the leadership of Coach Billy Chadwick, the players find a way to feel at home.

Eighty-nine percent of the present players are from outside of the United States, with only one American on the team.

Chadwick explains that players are internationally ranked and most of the top players come from outside of the United States. This is due to the popularity of tennis outside of the U.S., and a lot of that has to do with the fact that basketball, baseball and football are not top sports in other countries.

The spots in red and the flags below indicate the countries where the Ole Miss players are from. However, with so many origins could there be a difficulty adjusting to a culturally diverse team dynamic?

According to Chadwick, his players have had no difficulty adjusting to life at Ole Miss.

“With tennis players across the board they are usually very good students. They’re used to being on the road and they’re used to being away from home. The adjustment is probably a little bit easier than it would be for a normal student coming from another country here.”

Chadwick goes on to say, “The thing that’s amazing is that they may be from different countries but a lot of the time they know each other before they even get here.”

Part of the success of the no. 14 nationally-ranked Ole Miss tennis team comes with the players’ ability to understand each other on and off the court.

According to England native Joe Rogers all the players are in the same boat.

“I think we understand each other pretty well. Everyone is from Europe apart from one guy. Where we’re from is pretty similar probably and being in America we’re all experiencing the same thing.” 

Though Zach Wilder is the only American, he relates to the other players.

“Our team is so close, they really don’t get homesick that often. We are always busy anyways, so I guess you don’t really have that much time to think about it.”

The Ole Miss tennis team will have three more home matches before playing in the SEC tournament in Starkville next month.

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~ by stephkonkle on March 27, 2012.

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