|Redbird men’s tennis matches academics to court prowess|
|Written by Michael Boyd, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Wednesday, 26 August 2009 19:50|
The Redbird men’s tennis team is coming into this upcoming fall season with confident athletes both on and off the court.
Although most athletes have very busy schedules, they are still expected to complete their school work just like every other student. One athlete in particular was rewarded for his ability to do just that.
Junior Filip Miljevic won the Benoni Green Endowed Scholarship in June for his excellence both on the tennis court and in the classroom. The scholarship is awarded annually to a member of the ISU men’s tennis team and is given to the athlete who shows the most leadership in both fields.
"When I first saw that I won the scholarship I was thrilled," Miljevic said. "It came as a reward for all the things I’ve accomplished and wanted to accomplish. If you want to be successful as a college athlete, you need to be successful in both school and your sport."
Miljevic has proven his leadership ability to both head coach Cris James and his fellow teammates. James stated two reasons for Miljevic’s leadership ability: playing as one of the team’s top performers the past two years and being able to get his business taken care of in the classroom.
Adding an ATP World Ranked singles player to a team will always add confidence and the team did that in July when freshman Alexander Pelaez signed his letter of intent. Pelaez recently came to ISU from his native country of Cuba on an athletic scholarship
"It is an honor that such a good school gave me this opportunity. The people are very nice to me and the tennis program is very good," Pelaez said.
"He is incredibly fast around the court and is also extremely powerful, he can end a point from anywhere," James said. "Physically he is ready to do very well for us. What remains to be seen is how he adjusts to college life.
"It happens with every freshman [where] you have to make new friends, you are living on your own, you have to get used to having extra free time and learning to study the right way. For some kids, it clicks immediately and for others, it takes time."
"It’s really hard without my family but I have a lot of friends like (teammate) Timon Reichelt that help me adjust to this life," Pelaez said.