Oregon recruit Ty Gentry brings focus and athleticism to program
In conversations with coaches to the player himself, one word is often used to describe Oregon men’s tennis recruit Ty Gentry: potential.
“A lot of kids have good potential, but it is especially big for me,” Gentry said.
The 6-foot-5 senior from Tumwater High School in Washington state has not lost a match in high school since his freshman year in the state finals. During his career he has ascended to the national recruiting rank of 19, joining the prestigious ranks of other blue chip recruits, according to TennisRecruiting.net. He is currently working towards his third consecutive 2A singles title.
Gentry signed with Oregon in November and will join the team this fall after completing tournaments over the summer. He is joining an Oregon team that currently ranks No. 38 nationally and will be losing one singles player from this year’s six.
So why is potential the word that follows him like a shadow? Accomplished, polished and practiced appear more akin to Gentry as a player.
It is, in part, because of his fierce desire for victory.
“He likes to win more than anyone I have ever met,” Tumwater head coach Jim Click said. “He is a real competitor, and if he stays focused he can be great.”
That focus is what will unlock his potential. Despite his long list of accomplishments, Gentry never focused all of his efforts on tennis.
“I am one of those kids that just loves to be active,” Gentry said. “I’ve never been a kid to sit around, play video games or watch TV.”
As a kid, he played numerous different sports until eighth grade, when he narrowed it down to tennis and basketball. While other young tennis players were specializing, Gentry was building skills in a different sport. Basketball was taking time away from tennis, yet simultaneously adding to Gentry’s future potential.
“It is great cross training. Doing defensive slides on the basketball court help me move faster on the tennis court. The explosiveness is a good tradeoff for tennis,” Gentry said.
His basketball experience has added to Gentry’s explosiveness. His size is beneficial in basketball, but in tennis, smaller, quicker players can take advantage of bigger ones. Gentry has no problem with this.
“I have always prided myself on my defense and my athleticism,” said Gentry. “For being 6-foot-5, people would not expect me to move very well, but I have been labeled as one of the best movers in the Pacific Northwest.”
Gentry is a confident young player who expects to compete for the Ducks the moment he steps on campus. His competitive spirit, combined with his skill, gives him the unique opportunity of playing Division I tennis, but that comes with new challenges.
“He’ll have to adjust. He will be playing the best players from everywhere,” Click said.
“It is going to be way different and unique, and that is what I am looking for,” Gentry said.
Follow Jack Butler on Twitter @Butler917
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