Collin County Community College’s Damian Hume defeated Alberto Gonzalez of Auburn Montgomery at the ITA’s “Super Bowl” Champions of Small College Tennis, where the 2009 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Small College Championships, from the NCAA Division II and III, NAIA and Junior College title-winners squared off to determine the overall champions.
Hume lived up to the lofty expectations of being the No. 1 seed in the JUCO men’s singles draw defeating the defending JUCO men’s singles champion, Cledson Carvalho of Laredo, 7-5, 6-3, who last year finished second in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings.
Hume, a sophomore from Johannesburg, South Africa also received the 2009 James O’ Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards presented by Rolex Watch USA yesterday. The James O’ Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards go to players who display outstanding sportsmanship and exemplify the spirit of college tennis during the course of the ITA National Small College Championships hosted by the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile.
“To me I think sportsmanship means not only being nice to everyone around you, including your opponent, but to really have fun out there and truly enjoy it,” said Hume. “When you do face adversity, it can be tough but be sure to have a strong mind and keep yourself calm.”
“Entering the tournament as the top seed can definitely create a target for yourself,” said Hume. “The guy I played has been the top Junior College player for a year and a half now and has not even lost a match. I played him in the Regionals and was able to come through in a really tough match but I knew he would be coming out to be me. In today’s match, I just stayed strong and was able to get the win again.”
“I’m looking forward to playing at Yale and know that as long as I keep playing hard and believe in myself, we’ll see what happens. I don’t think my game has reached its peak so I know I need to keep training and work on improving certain elements of my game and taking it on from there while learning to enjoy it and just have fun.”