Story by William Kok
Many Clay students play after school sports, and some students take it above and beyond. Clay student Nishesh Basavareddy, sixth grade, is one of these students that participates in sports after school, and he is a nationally ranked star in the sport he plays.
Nishesh is one of the best tennis players in the country for his age group. He practically lives with the sport. He often times faces competition from all over the country, from Florida to Arkansas.
Although he is one of the best players, it is not easy. It takes dedication, Nishesh said that for six days a week he has one to two and a half hour practices.
“Becoming nationally ranked has proven that my hard work has payed off,” he said.
Nishesh started tennis seven years ago after trying out soccer and tennis. He discovered that he liked tennis more. Ever since, he has been working his way up to the top.
Another Clay tennis player, seventh grader Broc Fletcher practices with Nishesh, and he said, “We are really good friends, and we cheer for each other at some of our matches.”
Broc plays in the same age division as Nishesh which includes 12 and under, and 14 and under.
Both of the players say that tennis helps them with more than just physical challenges.
“It helps with emotional skills, too, being able to take a tough loss and get back up to keep playing,” Fletcher said.
Although tennis is a year-round sport, during the summer there are large tournaments. During this time many of the tennis players travel to matches around the country.
Although Nishesh is playing now, he’s gearing up for this summer when most of his major tournaments will be.
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.