When you do something best in life, you don’t really want to give that up - and for me it’s tennis” - Roger Federer.
Ramapo senior and profound athlete Lukas Choi knows all too well about the art of tennis. Choi has known the sport seemingly all throughout his life. Choi started at the age of 10 because his mother wanted him out of the house for the summer. What was first thought of as a summer bore actually turned out to be a spark for something much greater: a burning passion.
“What first started as a way to get me out of trouble and keep me active soon turned into my life,” says Choi.
And unfortunately, with life, there comes unforeseen events. In his freshman year at Ramapo, Choi was sidelined for 9 months after he ruptured two discs in his lower back and needed intensive care. However, his roadblock in his path was no match for him. Calling upon that burning need to play once more, Choi came back his sophomore year with the goal to dominate. He ended the season with a nomination for North Jersey Player of the Year and a spot on the first-team all division team. Choi has built up a monstrous reputation during this time as one of the best players in the state and even the country, raking up an amazing record of 30-2.
Although Choi plays singles, he does recognize everyone who has helped him along the way.
“If I could thank everyone for my successes it wouldn’t fit in the article,” says Choi. “To keep it short though it would first of all have to be my Dad who’s been there every step of my journey and been through all my trials and tribulations there right with me.”
Choi’s father has obviously been a huge inspiration to him. As a guiding figure throughout his journey, his father has provided countless insight and wisdom. Some defining life lessons from his father have stuck with Choi, some of which he has asked me to provide in the article:
- “If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing”
- “If you work as hard as everyone else you’re going to have results like everyone else”
Like glue, these key lessons are forever stuck with Choi, acting as defining pieces of Choi’s hardworking mindset. Choi also thanks all of his coaches over the years for further helping build who he is, including Ramapo tennis coach, Coach Marchese. “Being under the tutelage of Coach Marchese has been a true blessing,” Choi says. “He has coached so many players in his life and players better than me that he knows exactly what it takes to grind out tough matches.” Choi also has an immense appreciation for his teammates, saying that his favorite part of the tennis team “has by far got to be being pushed by other guys on the team. Having guys that I love to be around makes tough practices and matches much more bearable.” Even though he has secured a tennis scholarship to Villanova University, Choi continues to pour his heart and soul into the Ramapo tennis team.
“The team was initially ranked as top 4 in the state in our preseason rankings and we initially got off to a rocky start but I believe we’re primed for great success heading into our county tournament,” says Choi. “Not enough credit can go to our young players such as Max Loia, Luke Rebak, and Matthew Miller who are being mentored by solid upperclassmen in Jack Houston and Andrew Sullivan.”
Thanks for the shoutout by the way.
After his junior season was cancelled due to COVID-19, Choi is once again looking to exact his talent on the New Jersey tennis scene his senior year.
“My senior year is underway,” says Choi, “and I’m ready to take it on with a vengeance.”
When writing these articles, I enjoy keeping them short and sweet to retain that classical style of journalistic writing. It may also be because that I don’t exactly personally know everyone that I write these articles about. However, there comes a time when I believe that a journalist should break free of a simple writing style and express themselves. And what not a better time to do this than when writing an article someone I personally know. Choi has not only been a teammate of mine on the tennis team. He’s been a mentor for me throughout my high school career, and I can’t thank him enough for that. To me, he is much more than a tennis player: he’s my friend. Good luck at Nova, Choi! Ramapo will miss you!