Men's Tennis Inks Top Recruit to NLI

BOISE, Idaho - Boise State men's tennis coach Greg Patton announced an exciting addition to the Bronco tennis program this week, as junior college standout Damian Hume has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Broncos in the fall.

Hume, who is currently a sophomore at Collin College in Plano, Texas, positioned himself as one of the nation's top men's tennis recruits over the past two seasons. The Johannesburg, South Africa native has helped lead Collin College to the No. 1 National Junior College Athletic Association team ranking this spring.

"I was drilling for oil and struck an oil reserve, but I also found a gold mine," Coach Patton said about Hume. "He is that good. In 30 years of coaching I believe he is one of the best recruits I have ever landed."

This season Hume has played himself to the No. 1 overall singles ranking for the NJCAA. The ranking came on the heels of an appearance at the ITA National Individual Indoor Championships last fall, which featured 32 of the most elite college tennis players in the country.

In order to qualify for the national tournament Hume first had to win the ITA Small College National Championships, which featured the top players from NJCAA, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA. In winning the small college title, he became the first NJCAA champion since 2001.

At the National Indoor Championships Hume showed he was deserving of the invitation. Despite finishing 0-2, he contended with two of the top NCAA Division I singles players in the nation. In the opening round he fell to the current No. 2 singles player in the country, Steve Johnson of Southern California, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4. In consolation play he dropped a close match against No. 13 ranked Eric Quigley of Kentucky, 7-6 (9), 7-5.

"We were fishing for Tuna and caught a shark," Patton added. "He is not only a great player, but he is a quality young man. He exemplifies everything about a champion; in sportsmanship, being a leader and a team player."

As a freshman, Hume played to a 19-2 record in singles to quickly establish himself as one of the top NJCAA players in the nation.

"The future of our program is so bright, and Damian will make a dramatic and immediate impact on our program," Patton said.

Boise State is off the courts this week preparing for the 2010 Western Athletic Conference Championships, which will be held in Fresno, Calif., April 30-May 2.

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