Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame
Harvard Athletic Achievements
Hall of Fame
Remembering Harvard Athletics
Words cannot adequately describe how integral a part Harvard Athletics played in my overall college experience and subsequently in my life. Ironically, as I reflect back on those four years that flew by in the blink of an eye, I have countless unforgettable memories and recall the building blocks and solidification of numerous lifelong friendships and relationships. It is no secret: the scholar athlete’s path to success is paved with incredible hard work, discipline, commitment and sacrifice. It is an investment in one’s self and ability with no immediate guarantees other than putting in the time and hard work increases the probability of a positive outcome. For me, I gave my all to Harvard Athletics, and I loved every bit of it. As it turns out, and unbeknownst to us all at the time, all that hard work and sacrifice continues to pay dividends and be rewarding even today. Unlike most of the 42 sports and teams Harvard boasts, tennis is a very individual sport. I grew up in New York City and we could barely field a full tennis team and did not even have our own home tennis courts in high school. It was only by the time I arrived at Harvard that I really learned what it really took and meant to be on a team, and infinitely more importantly what exactly it meant to be the best teammate, and eventual leader and captain. Through countless practices and multi-practice days, fitness and weight training sessions at the Murr Center, team dinners in the dining halls and on the road, and extensive travel and competition, my teammates became my brothers. Suiting up in the same Crimson uniforms and sweating, bleeding and celebrating the highs and lows on the same courts forged a brotherhood that will forever bond us. I have always played hard for myself and my partners but I found gears I never knew existed when I was beside my teammates in doubles and singles action. Playing for the “Big H” was one thing; battling beside and on behalf of my brothers was another. I thrived in the pressure of wanting to perform and succeed for my team. What a sense of exhilaration! The pressure that cracks the fainthearted challenged me to dig deeper to find an extra boost to get across the finish line victoriously. I lived our victories and took our defeats on the chin as well. The loyal and steadfast commitment to one another is the foundation for many friendships that remain as strong today as they did so many years ago.
Competition reveals much about athletes and competitors. How they handle victories and more importantly how they handle defeat. In my younger days I never fully appreciated the significance of how each day was part of a process and served as a building block and piece of the mosaic that is my life today. Success is built upon many things and there is no shortage of literature or philosophy on what it takes to be “great” or “successful” on and off the court.
The Harvard scholar-athlete is a distinction and honor. Balancing the demands and rigors of both academics and athletics requires the extreme focus, commitment, dedication, prioritization, compartmentalization and of course resilience. Legendary Coach Dave Fish always preached that we needed to learn how to shift our mindset and focus whenever we crossed the Charles River. The ability to change gears and maintain the consistent commitment to excellence yielded the ultimate outcome which was to “go to the showers clean.” Perhaps the most important lessons a coach can teach you are off the court and outside the arenas. The athlete’s character, integrity, and honesty are absolute necessities to achieve scholarly excellence as well as athletic achievement. We are scholar-athletes from Harvard, and the triumphs and tragedies of those precious four years mold us all in countless ways and perhaps most importantly shape who we are as people and for the rest of our lives. It is ultimately a gift that lasts a lifetime and for that I am eternally grateful.