“When I was 18, I was watching tennis on TV and that was when I realized I wanted to play that sport,” junior Jordan Gates said.
Four years later, Gates is on the Eastern men’s tennis team and, according to Head Coach Mark Spangler, “Gates understands the game and the intricacies of each stroke and shot in tennis.”
Gates is a transfer student from Bucks County Community College.
“I have no reason why I came here,” Gates said. “I guess it was God who called me here.”
Gates, who believes “technique is key in tennis,” plays #2 singles and #1 doubles for the team.
“He is a very confident and determined player who plays hard and really wants to win,” Spangler said.
Gates appears to enjoy playing both double and singles. “The individuality and responsibility while playing alone is always fun, but when you play with someone else, you build relationships and learn to trust each other,” he said.
The athlete from Pipersville, Pa. went to Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown and is currently majoring in business management.
Gates does not only play tennis. He also competes in ice hockey and is a singer, guitarist and a pianist.
He has chosen to participate only in tennis while on campus since he knew tennis and studies would occupy most of his time.
Additionally, the fact that Eastern does not have an ice hockey team allows Gates to focus on just one sport. “If we had ice hockey, without a doubt, I would play,” Gates said.
School is not the only field where Gates puts his passion for tennis into practice. In fact, he is one of the few lucky people who has the opportunity to make money out of their hobbies. He currently works as a coach for beginners at the Doylestown Tennis Club. He coaches both old and new athletes, though he prefers coaching the kids.
“I love kids, without a doubt,” Gates said. ‘They are lot easier to work with. Old people think they know stuff, making it harder for me to train them.”
After graduating from Eastern, Gates plans to go to graduate school. “I have a lot of options to choose from, but I don’t know exactly where I am going,” Gates said.
Though he believes tennis will always be a part of his life, Gates does not plan to make it his career.
“I am aware of all the energy and commitment this game needs, and that is not something I want to do for the rest of my life,” Gates said.