Grant Eubanks - 18 - Mississippi Interviewed by Zoe D'Angelo Nomination & Photography by Sonja Shamblin from Keepsake Photography Issue 18 | Sports
The Nomination: Grant Eubanks is a senior at George County High School, where he will be graduating with highest honors. Grant is inspirational for his drive and determination, not only in academics but sports. Grant has played tennis for his high school since 7th grade and qualified for state championships two years in a row. He hopes he qualifies this year as well his senior season.
How did you become interested in starting a career in tennis?
My interest in the game of tennis began out of curiosity. I had heard the stories of two of my uncles playing on their high school teams, and I decided that I wanted to try my hand at tennis, so my dad and I found a teaching pro at The Mobile Tennis Center. After every lesson, I began to enjoy the game more and more. My enjoyment quickly turned into a passion for a game that I had just started playing. I had no idea that 8 years later I would be the singles player for my school, two-time qualifier for the state championships, and ranked in the top forty in Mississippi at sixteen.
How does playing tennis help you inspire others? I think that my involvement in tennis inspires others because tennis is not a sport that gets much attention. I do my best to inspire more people to play and have managed to grow the tennis community in my town considerably. I have helped many people discover the game that I love so dearly.
Tell me about your experiences qualifying for the state championships.
When I was a sophomore, I became one of the few players from my school to qualify for the state championships and the first to qualify in boy’s singles. After qualifying, I was elated, and I celebrated with my teammates. The next year, I qualified playing mixed doubles, but in addition to qualifying, my partner and I won the district mixed doubles championships.
What advice would you give to a young person who wants to be a tennis player? Since I have the privilege of coaching and advising young players in my community, I would advise younger people that wanted to start playing tennis to go out and find a professional coach: this makes all the difference later in one’s tennis career. When I started going to tennis lessons, my knowledge of the game grew as well as my passion.
Do you plan in continuing to play tennis in the future?
After finishing high school, I will play tennis for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. After playing in junior college, I am going to play in adult leagues and on USTA teams. I am also considering getting my USTA coaching certification. Tennis is the game that anyone can play for their entire life, and I plan on playing as long as I am able.
Grant will be featured in Issue 18 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!