A video crew from the University of Oklahoma came out during the BCC Tennis Academy Summer Camp to do a story about Spencer Papa, who will be a sophomore on the OU Men’s team this Fall and who was one of our coaches. The video is amazing and the crew from OU did a great job shining a spotlight on a young guy who is not only a great tennis player, but an even better person. You know how I love stories! There’s more to this story than the video can tell.
I met Spencer when Annie started playing tennis. We would go to the tennis courts in our neighborhood to hit balls and Spencer and his dad, Todd, were already there. He was already amazing at 9 or 10 years old. Every time I would take Annie to the courts Spencer and Todd were already there, when we left the court they were still there, and his hard work paid off. When Spencer was 13 years old he was the top player in the nation in his age category. Patrick McEnroe and the USTA came calling. They wanted to move Spencer to Boca Raton, Florida to train with them. I will never forget when Spencer left his mom, dad, and brother to move to Florida. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been, but Spencer had goals and was willing to make sacrifices to go after them.
While in Boca Raton Spencer was on the court 5 hours a day…every day! All of that hard work paid off. Spencer traveled all over the world playing in tennis tournaments. He played in the Junior U.S. Open, French Open, and at Wimbledon during his teenage years. When he graduated from high school Spencer was the #1 recruit in the nation and he chose to come home, to attend the University of Oklahoma. Spencer and the Sooners won the Men’s Indoor National Championship and placed 2nd in the Outdoor National Tournament held in May of this year.
Spencer is spending his summer playing in professional tournaments, but he took a week of his time to hit the courts each day with our kids. Spencer is a breath of fresh air in a day where we hear so many negative things about big-time athletes. He’s got a great heart, he’s humble, and he realizes that just as others have helped him, he can help others along the way. I hope you enjoy Spencer’s story.