Sarmiento Keeping College Options Open
by Colette Lewis
, 25 June 2009
Raymond Sarmiento probably won't be answering his phone too often next week, despite the many, many calls he'll undoubtedly receive from college coaches interested in discussing his plans.
The Fontana, California native, who turns 17 next month, is in Europe the next several weeks, competing in ITF Men's and Junior Circuit events. But even if Sarmiento were in the U.S. when the July 1 telephone contact day dawns, he's really not in any hurry to start the college recruiting process.
"I'm looking at every option right now," he says. "I might take a year off, might go early - I haven't put much thought into that possibility."
Sarmiento, currently ranked third in the Tennis Recruiting Network's Class of 2010, is as open to the "where" as he is to the "when," saying he hasn't made even a preliminary cut, although he would like to play for a national title contender. As for the University of Southern California being his first choice, Sarmiento isn't sure where that rumor started.
"People maybe assumed it because I'm from So Cal, and I do like the school, but it's not for sure. Definitely not for sure," says Sarmiento, who does admit, "You can't beat the weather there."
If he does leave the area where he grew up, it won't be a new experience for him. Sarmiento is completing his second school year at the USTA's Boca Raton Training Center and has applied to return for another in the fall.
Leaving his home and family to train with the USTA has been an adjustment for Sarmiento, but the sacrifices have paid off.
"It's been a great experience," Sarmiento says. "I'm around a lot of great guys and the atmosphere is nice. The coaches, the players, they all work very hard, and I'm happy to be there."