Countdown: Nguyen - Blue Chip to Big Blue
by Marc Lucero, 2 April 2009
Parents of junior players often call and ask for advice about the recruiting process; the answer is usually the same. Keep your options open, do not limit yourself early on, and gather as much information as you can. For Thien-Trang (Mimi) Nguyen, opening herself up to options outside of her initial comfort zone helped her find the right place to attend school next fall. Today the Blue Chip athlete discusses her commitment to the University of Michigan.
will play tennis in Ann Arbor
© Julie Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net
Mimi Nguyen is a very talented player from Long Beach, Calif., breeding ground for quite a few successful tennis players. It is common for a lot of Southern California juniors to want to stay close to home, and Nguyen was no different.
"At first, I was considering colleges located in Southern California. I really liked Pepperdine and UCI," Nguyen said. "Then I wanted to expand my horizons, so I chose Michigan because it is one of the best public universities in the nation, I already knew about half the girls on the team, and the coach is very nice."
Michigan currently has three players from Southern California on its eight person roster; Nguyen will be the fourth. By looking beyond what was close, Nguyen was able to find a place that not only provides great academics and a proven coaching staff but also a small pocket of home 2,000 miles away.
Nguyen plays with two hands on both sides, and like a lot of two-handed players, has a great deal of touch and feel that is evident when watching her play. She can take the ball early and use angles to get her opponents in trouble.
Nguyen has played a limited junior schedule, primarily tournaments in California. This should bode well for her as she should be fresh physically and ready to flourish in college. She has also supplemented her junior schedule with some tournaments on the USTA Pro Circuit.
Away from tennis, academics hold a significant appeal to Nguyen and played no small part in her decision to sign with the Maize and Blue.
"I wanted a college that could satisfy me academically and athletically," she said. "U of M has one of the best business programs, and I am hoping to join. I am interested in the sports management program as well."
Obviously well-rounded, Nguyen was looking for a place where she could have the whole college experience. One cannot think college without thinking football, and when it comes to football, Michigan has something that no other school can match: the Big House. Michigan Stadium officially seats over 106,000 people but held 112,118 for the 2003 Michigan-Ohio State game, an NCAA record.