On and off the court with OU tennis player Hermon Brhane
Evin Morrison, The Oklahoma Daily
This weekend’s matches
When: noon Saturday
“It’ll be a good match,” Hermon said.
When: noon Sunday
Hermon said this will be a game to look out for.
My iPod's top 10
- i hate college
- holla at your boy
- paper loving
- dancin’ 4 dollas
- power trip
- can’t get enough
Hermon Brhane, communication junior, carefully balances life as a Big 12 athlete and a college student. She describes the perfect Friday night and what to expect from this weekend’s matches against Baylor and TCU.
With dreams of one day going pro, Hermon began her voyage by leaving Germany and moving to Oklahoma in 2010, arriving first at Oklahoma Christian University and transferring to OU this past fall to play for a Division I university. She said she wanted to be part of a program that could polish her to become her best and is focusing on raising her national ranking — currently 79 in singles.
In her first year at OU, she and the women’s tennis team are already a tight-knit group, traveling long distances together, going as a group to dinners and, as she said, becoming “a family.”
Aside from being a Sooner athlete (and her strong determination to become All- American), she said she’s enjoying being a college student. But mentally escaping from her responsibilities as a Big 12 women’s tennis player isn’t always so easy.
Q: How do you mentally get away during the season?
I have a few friends here, so I hang out with them, and I talk to my parents every weekend. It’s tough because my parents are in Germany and timing with practice and classes makes it hard. I do fun things, though, like going out with my friends and getting ice cream. Just the little things.
Q: This weekend, you’re playing against Baylor and TCU. What do you have to watch out for?
Baylor’s pretty good. Their No. 1 is in the [national] top 10, so it’ll be a good match, but I like playing against good players. It’s more fun.
Q: What’s this season been like?
It’s been pretty good so far. Since I’ve been here, the fall was really good and was more for the individual. This spring has been more about the team. We’ve had a few weeks where we all didn’t play that well, but we all play really well, and we fight through it even if we play bad. I think we bounce back and we’re back.
Q: How do you go pro?
My goal is to play a lot of tournaments, but tournaments are really expensive because you have to pay for the tournaments, for the hotel, to travel. I’m going to save up and at least try a year.
Q: Describe the perfect Friday night.
I love when we go out with the whole team. That’s probably where I have the most fun. We go to the movies, and we go to the bars and hang out there.
Q: What was your experience of moving to America like?
I had been here before, playing tournaments like with Juniors [Tennis Circuit]. I stayed in California for a tennis academy for eight months before I came here. I basically learned my English there — learned it within the first two months. It was pretty easy for me, because in Germany, we don’t learn speaking but we learn grammar pretty well, so the only thing missing was speaking to people. I was really shy and didn’t talk to anybody my first two weeks. Also, the food is so different. I can’t stand pizza here, but I love pizza in Germany!