The Newest Approach

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1205e2b4-6ef7-4bd5-9744-0c2cb4726249Vaughn Hunter is a freshman from Johannesburg, South Africa and a tennis player who has a professional chance in the future.

The men’s tennis team got off to a 7-2 start this spring and it’s just beginning. Hunter has been a big part of that start.

“I’m excited about getting the season, more matches, see how other teams are and how we are as a team and playing against other teams,” said Hunter. “Nationals is what I’m looking forward to more and defending the sophomores’ title.”

Hunter is ranked in the Top 10 in doubles with his partner, Ryan Hudelson. He also is ranked in the Top 15 in singles according to itatennis.com.

His ranking has a lot to do with his motivation, but the team has the biggest and most important influence for him.

“I’m not playing for myself anymore, but for a team,” Hunter said. “Playing for a team and not wanting to let my team down,”

When playing doubles, the motivation is still the same, but there’s another twist.

“We talk about girls,” Hudelson said. “We talk about what he does in South Africa and how different the life is and how different it is here and more opportunities here.”

Being ranked has its perks as any athlete knows, but there is always that added pressure to do better.

“Singles I want to be higher ranked,” Hunter said. “It’s not good enough though, I want to be in the Top 10.”

He has the motivation to become better and the dreams are being met.

d464e8d4-4437-4124-a1e8-431ba9b337f3 “I set high expectations for myself,” Hunter said.

Aspirations are exactly what Hunter has after TJC. He has big plans and big dreams. “Hopefully, I transfer to a top D1 school for the last two years and after that maybe go pro,” said Hunter.

Head Coach Dash Connell bragged about Hunter and believes he is one to watch for next year and has a shot at touring after college.

A team becomes a family and this is the case for Hunter. Home sickness is very common in any student who moves away from home and Hunter will admit it, but he also has another family, his team.

“The team itself, especially living in the dorms, we grow as a team each day,” says Hunter. “It takes my mind off missing home.”

Hudelson and Connell have their favorite aspects about Vaughn.

“He’s always pretty positive and pretty optimistic,” said Hudelson. “He’s always trying to look at the bright side of whatever the situation it is.”

adc6493b-6964-4170-ae62-7ae36d11922c“He’s appreciative, he’s very grateful for all that he receives through here,” said Connell. “He’s a nice guy to be around which is undervalued sometimes.”

Hunter decided on attending TJC when an academy member back home decided to attend TJC and spoke so highly about the tennis program. Plus, it had a big impact TJC is ranked No. 1 in tennis for junior colleges.

Hunter has been able to experience Texas for a few months now and even though he may not have the Texas accent yet, he likes the people and the food the most. His favorite food is one of the trademarks of Texas: Whataburger.

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