Turning pro or going to college? Vania King gives us another perspective - TennisForum.com

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 2012, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Turning pro or going to college? Vania King gives us another perspective

http://tennis.com/articles/templates...18765&zoneid=6

Vania King: College wrong choice for brother

Vania King discusses how difficult it was for her older brother, Phillip, when their parents pushed him to go to Duke University rather than to the pros because they were focused more on academics. Phillip King won the 18s Nationals twice and was the No. 1 junior in the country. He played four years at Duke and was an All-American, but did not make an impact on tour after he graduated and quickly moved on.
"It was tough for my parents because they came from Taiwan and they didn’t want to risk their first child to play pro tennis," King told Tennisone.com. "They were reluctant and didn’t want to give him the chance. It's very difficult to even reach the Top 100. Personally I think he always wondered because when he was 17 or 18 he was ranked around No. 280 and he was beating Andy [Roddick] and Mardy [Fish] and all these great players. He wondered how good he could have been."
The 22-year-old American added that her parents learned from the experience, so when she told them she had accepted an offer to go to Stanford University in 2006, they told her she couldn’t go and should instead turn pro.
"They saw that he suffered by going to college," she said.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 2012, 09:14 PM
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Re: Turning pro or going to college? Vania King gives us another perspective

College is not and never has been the answer for everyone. It's about identifying the correct pathway for the individual, which the King's got wrong first time around
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 2012, 02:54 AM
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Re: Turning pro or going to college? Vania King gives us another perspective

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Originally Posted by paul_masterton View Post
College is not and never has been the answer for everyone. It's about identifying the correct pathway for the individual, which the King's got wrong first time around
Completely agree, although if Phillip King had gone pro and never made it into the top 100, he would be singing a different song. This is just my personal opinion but I think if you have the talent to eventually make an impact on the tour, going to college college isn't going to be the choice that makes or breaks you. Obviously for Isner, college was the right move but he was nowhere near 280 ATP as a senior in high school.

There is no guarantee that Phil King would have ever made it into the top 200 had he passed on college and gone straight to the tour. I think the most important part of the story is being left out, and that is that Phil maxed out at 5'9" and 145 lbs. THAT is the reason he didn't do more as a pro.

I agree that it's crazy not to give it a shot on the tour if you're 280 at age 17 and a few qualy wins away from playing in the main draw at majors but if we had a time machine and could let PK go back and do it the other way, I wouldn't bet money on his ever making it into the top 50.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 2012, 10:14 PM
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Re: Turning pro or going to college? Vania King gives us another perspective

More than anything, it's about the momentum shift. If you're winning good pro-level matches, there is no reason for you to stop and go to college. Colleges compete in conferences, and unless you're being recruited to one of the PAC-12 schools (and only the top 5 of the PAC-12), you're not being challenged enough.

I hate the USTA for pushing this college-first agenda. Although it gives recruiting more excitement, it's going to backfire on them. John Isner is their one and only poster boy. Who else would have a game like Isner's?


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 2012, 04:46 PM
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Re: Turning pro or going to college? Vania King gives us another perspective

The bottom line is that unless you're going to be a top 100 pro, college is a better option. The college first thing is correct for most kids out there. Phillip King can lament all he likes, but he probably wasn't going to be a top 100 pro anyway and that's just a matter of genetics. He is like a shorter, skinnier and less athletic Donald Young and he is better off having been an All-American and having a degree from Duke than he would have been floating around the challenger circuit for four years, which is probably what he would have done. I can't imagine any scenario in which he would have been a top 100 pro, at least not for a prolonged period.

Brian Vahaly is a great example...All-American at Virginia, got as high as 64 ATP and made about $100,000 a year during a 5-year playing career. Even if he had not gone to college and played four more years and had the same success, he would have been 26 years old and jobless when his tennis career ended. Instead he used his UVA degree and works in Washington D.C. in a great job with a private equity fund. That job wouldn't have happened with a "PhD in life" earned on the tour. He'd be slinging balls to bratty juniors and country club moms with implants and botox.

Sam Q is about the only guy I can think of that almost went to college but didn't, and it turned out to be a great choice. Most successful American pros were so good at 18 that going to college wasn't even an option. Conversely, there are a TON of failed pros that should have gone to college. Scoville Jenkins is a great example on the mens side. He's now an assistant coach at Kennesaw State, a school that I had never even heard of, when he could have been a 4-year All-American and either a head coach right now or in a great job outside of tennis.
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