When Salif Kante graduated from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 2013, he was at the top of his game as a tennis athlete. He came to FAMU from Georgia Perimeter College ranked as the No. 1 junior college tennis player in the nation, and only added to his awards and honors over the two years he played for the institution, including being named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013.
“He was a gentle giant,” recalls Carl B. Goodman, FAMU’s head coach of men’s tennis, referring to Kante, a 6-foot-5 public relations major who excelled on the courts and in the classroom. “He was one of the most talented players and nicest people ever.”
Today, Kante, a native of Senegal, is embarking on a career as a professional tennis player, hoping his performance will incite as much excitement as the late Arthur Ashe did in his professional career following his intercollegiate tennis career at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Just as Ashe helped change the intercollegiate and professional tennis world, Kante is part of a new generation of college students who have been steadily changing the character and face of intercollegiate tennis in America.
Today, international students make up nearly 50 percent of all American college varsity tennis players, according to unofficial estimates by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the national governing body for the sport of tennis. A majority of those students are Hispanic or European. <Read more.>