Taco Bell Student-Athlete Spotlight
Statesboro, Ga. - For senior men's tennis player Alain Garrido, his experiences as a Georgia Southern student-athlete have far exceeded any expectations he may have had before arriving in Statesboro. Having grown up almost 4,000 miles away in Vigo, Spain, adjusting to college life in a small town far from home took a little time.
"Coming to Statesboro from such a large city was a bit of a culture shock," said Garrido. "But the people here made it easy for me. Everyone was so kind and polite. I felt comfortable right away. And being able to experience traditions like southern cooking, football and tailgating-it's all been amazing."
As one of only two seniors on this year's team, Garrido has developed into an important leader on and off the court.
"As a senior, I try to encourage the younger guys, just like I received a lot of encouragement when I was a freshman," Garrido said. "I remember coming in and seeing the older guys working hard on their game and how they conducted themselves even when things didn't go their way. Instead of getting down after a match where they didn't play well, they would work even harder to improve their game."
"Off the court I feel a little bit like a second father to some of them," Garrido said. "Going away to college and being away from your family isn't always easy, so I try to help them any way I can."
Head Coach Nick Zieziula recognizes the impact that type of leadership can have on the success of a program.
"Alain has done a great job of helping the new guys understand what it means to commit to the program and be dedicated to improving every day," said Zieziula. "Last year when Alain hit a little bit of a skid and lost some matches he put in the extra work to get better. That's how he leads-by example. With such a young team this season, the example he sets for his teammates is even more important."
Georgia Southern Men's Tennis will begin the spring part of their 2011-12 schedule on Friday, Jan. 27 against Mercer on the newly refurbished courts at the Hanner Tennis Complex.
Major: Accounting and Management
Interests: My favorite hobby is watching and playing sports in general. From American football to European soccer!
Food: Spaghetti Bolognese
Movies: A Few Good Men, Thank You for Smoking, and Casino
Type of Music, Band or Artist: Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles, and The Strokes
Athlete: Rafael Nadal
Why did you choose to attend GSU? I originally chose Georgia Southern because of the warm weather of Georgia, but it turned out to be greater than anything I expected.
What do you appreciate most about your team? My team is a great group of human beings that happen to play great tennis. We stand for what is right and not for what is easy. The team has cheered me when I lost, has helped me when I struggle, and has celebrated my victories. I am very thankful to have them!
What is your favorite memory so far as an Eagle? I remember a specific victory against Furman last year that made me very proud of my team. I lost my singles match, but to see my team come back from a 3-1 deficit and win 4-3 against Furman was priceless.
What are your goals for the upcoming season: My biggest goal this season is to win the Southern Conference Championship. It's my last year and I want to win it!
What are your plans after college? As of right now, I intend to become an entrepreneur in my home country, following the steps of my father.
- Category: Men's Tennis
- Published on Friday, 04 November 2011 09:38