Nathan Han has played tennis for about 14 years, and he had an interesting introduction to the sport.

"It’s a bit of an funny way to start, but there was a Japanese cartoon that I used to watch as a kid called 'Prince of Tennis' which got me onto the tennis court because I wanted to imitate the characters in the show," he said.

Aside from the simple enjoyment of playing the game, Han says that the best part of being an athlete from a young age is the life lessons you are able to learn.

"You will learn at an early stage in life how to compete, work hard, be resilient, among many other qualities," he said. "These virtues transcend the court or field and in my opinion is the most valuable part about sports."

Han encourages his fellow student athletes to appreciate the gift they have for as long as they can.

"Remember to stay grateful," he said. "Being able to play a sport that you love is a blessing and in any given moment whether it be due to injury, illness, or even a world pandemic, the gift can be taken away from you. So cherish every second you get to do what you love!"

Han achieved a career-long goal when he won the U14 National Championships and the moment was even more meaningful because he got to share it with his lifelong coach Trent Tucker.

"[Coach Tucker] had picked me up as a student when I was around nine years old and has been one of the greatest influences of my life," said Han. "After the endless hours he had invested in me, being able to bring him such feelings of excitement and pride may have meant more to me than the title itself."

Another big moment in Han's high school career took place at a historic place.

"I was once lucky enough be invited by Head, a sports equipment company, to play an exhibition match against a top junior player at Madison Square Garden," he said. "We were the opening match before the main event which was a team exhibition match played by eight of the best professional tennis players in the world. Though we did not complete a full match, it was a surreal experience being able to perform in front of a crowd at such a historic venue, surrounded by the best of our sport."

Han sees his parents as role models, saying that he especially admires his father's incredible work ethic.

Han's future plans are to study and play college tennis at the University of Oklahoma and work towards becoming professional tennis player.

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