Athlete of the Week: Colin Wong

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Photo courtesy of Colin Wong

Junior Colin Wong's favorite moment during a game is match point. “I feel like it shows character and... reflects who you are," he said.

Paige Baines, Staff Reporter

Put yourself in this moment: It’s the beginning of May, freshman year. You’ve been training all season for this one match that will either bring you to the state finals, or stop you cold in your tracks.

Everything is riding on this one match, and your nerves are definitely making this clear. Despite this, you know that you’re ready.

This is exactly how junior Colin Wong felt during the 2018 doubles semifinals against Wilsonville’s number one team his freshman year. 

“I felt a sense of readiness and competitiveness that turned into confidence, which helped me focus and lock in for the match,” he said looking back on the game.

Wong and his older brother Leland ended up winning the doubles tournament that year, bringing home gold at the finals against another La Salle team.

Tennis is something that has been part of Wong’s life for the last nine years. He was placed in singles tournaments by his father, who had also played when he was his age. 

Though this was fun for Wong, he enjoyed tennis much more once he found the La Salle varsity team. “Before high school it was just [me playing in] tournaments… [and] I thought there was never fun to that because [I was] only playing for myself and not for a team,” he said. 

“Right when I hit high school, I wanted to join the team,” he said. “Right off the bat I was like, ‘wow, this is amazing,’ because I’m able to be a part of the team, and have that team camaraderie, and I think that’s just amazing because it’s something different that I never felt before.”

It’s Wong’s connection with his team that keeps him going, even while balancing five honors and AP classes. 

“Ever since high school… they’ve been a huge support system because they not only kept me in the sport, but [they’ve] kept me happy and kept me loving what I do,” he said.

Wong states that his favorite moment during a game is match point because it shows true character under pressure. “I think it shows a lot of determination and the feeling of it is just overall sweet,” he said.

Maintaining his grades and GPA during junior year can be difficult for Wong, but he uses his time management skills to keep everything on track by, “limiting what I do on the weekdays,” he said. 

But Wong wouldn’t credit all of his tennis and school motivation to just his friends. He also gives credit to his family. “My family supports me in the way that they’re accommodating to what I do,” he said. “They respect the choices that I make on and off the court.” 

Wong says that his parents show this by telling him to “do what makes you happy.” They also tell him, “don’t try to please us because, ultimately, at the end of the day, you’re doing this for yourself.”

The respect and honesty from Wong’s family and friends are what allow him to have fun with the sport. It’s being with friends and being on [a] team that [supports] you [that] makes it an overall fun environment,” he said. 

Though he doesn’t know what this season will bring, Wong hopes to continue his hard work, either with a partner or alone, and make it as far as he can towards state championship.