All posts by fernandoshan2019

International athletes face special challenges as seniors

By Fernando Shan
Medill Reports

Turning pro is the dream for student athletes. But many give up  that dream due to injuries, players say.

“I don’t think professional tennis is a realistic goal. Tennis is going to end at college [graduation]. It’s time to move on,”said Rachel Le Comber, a senior on the UIC women’s tennis team.
The majority of student athletes need to figure out another career path before graduation.
Continue reading

Overseas experience propels Brazilian Gulin to Chicago tennis spotlight

By Fernando Shan
Medill Reports

International tennis teens are seeking out the U.S. tennis scene and college recruiters have an “A” list of players they want – players such as Georgia Gulin.

Gulin, a 19-year-old Brazilian standout, is a sophomore athlete on the women’s tennis team at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her career covers several tennis academy experiences, including two prestigious tennis camps, the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France, before attending college in California. Gulin spent her freshman year at Long Beach State University prior to transferring to Chicago last year.
Continue reading

Diehard German soccer fans support Dortmund in London

By Fernando Shan
Medill Reports

The English soccer team Tottenham Hotspur packed home ground Wembley Stadium with not only local Hotspur’s fans, but also thousands of German Borussia Dortmund supporters in a February  Champions League Round of 16 clash.

Borussia Dortmund, current Bundesliga (German Division One soccer league) leader, started the Champions League elimination rounds against Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in London. This matchup drew enormous attention in the soccer world, even though both teams had several injuries. The leading scorers for each team, Marco Reus from Dortmund and Harry Kane from Tottenham, had both suffered injuries.

In the black and yellow “away” fan section for Borussia Dortmund, fans filled every seat one-hour before kick-off time despite the February cold. Traveling German fans came fully prepared for this trip, bringing customized scarves, black and yellow flags and several drums to support their team and team spirit.
Continue reading

UIC women’s tennis maps a global trajectory

By Fernando Shan
Medill Reports

The University of Illinois at Chicago women’s tennis team recruited seven international students from five different countries, including Brazil, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Germany and England.

Besides being strongly international, most of the student-athletes on the team are transfer students. Chicago is their second destination in the United States. Continue reading

For strongly international UIC Women’s Tennis, head coach serves as a second mother

By Fernando Shan
Medill Reports Video

Shannon Tully, head coach of  University of Illinois at Chicago women’s tennis team, has guided student-athletes for nearly 20 years. Players say Tully serves as the American mother for this team, where seven of the eight players are international students who traveled thousands of miles to attend UIC.

Before coaching, Tully played for the University of Wisconsin Badgers from 1991-1995, serving as team captain for the 1994-1995 season and graduating in 1996.

Here is a look of Tully’s coaching day.

Photo at top: UIC Women’s Tennis team huddles with Coach Shannon Tully (wearing the red jacket) before a game.

UIC Flames lose to Northwestern in women’s tennis match

By Fernando Shan
Medill Reports

The University of Illinois at Chicago women’s tennis team lost to 2018 Big Ten regular season Champion, No. 19 Northwestern, by 0-7 in a one-sided, two-hour matchup to start the dual season on Friday afternoon.

The UIC Flames kicked off their new dual season in Evanston with the absence of four seniors who had graduated. Still, the Flames were led by three elite transfer student-athletes, Lejla Colic, Karyna Bihel and Lucie Prochazkova, as their top three singles players.

Continue reading