Nutley Male Athlete of the Month

Jonathan La, Boys tennis – NHS senior

How old were you when you started playing tennis. What got you interested?
I was very young. I started when I was in fourth grade and immediately fell in love with it. My dad had a passion for it and definitely got me interested in the sport.

What are your strengths? Anything you’re hoping to improve this season?
My strengths are my groundstrokes especially my forehand. I also have a strong mental game which is very important in tennis. I’m hoping to improve my serve and hopefully make it to states.

Who’s your favorite tennis player? Favorite athlete? How come?
My favorite tennis players are definitely Rafael Nadal and Gael Monfils. They have a unique style and are very interesting to watch. I try to model my game after them. My favorite athlete is Tom Brady because he is the G.O.A.T. The countless times he persevered all the critics, and his striving to keep pushing himself to be the best, although he has already accomplished so much.

Talk about the highlights of your career so far?
My highlights from my four years of being on the team are winning two division titles. Also, the bond with my teammates that I made which are unbreakable. Shout out to Hammy, Andre, Gerardo, Vince, Tehseen, Brian, and Luke for pushing me to be the best player I could be.

If a beginner asked you how they could improve their game, what advice would you give?
To keep at it no matter what challenges they face. Tennis is such a mental game and I would advise them to shake off any mistakes that they make and win the next point. Also, to just practice as much as they can, dedicate yourself to the sport.

Your a senior. What are your plans for next year?
I’m attending Rutgers New Brunswick and I can’t wait to meet new people and see where the next chapter of my life takes me.

What are you doing when you’re not playing tennis?
When I’m not playing tennis I’m hanging out with my friends, adventuring to new places, and enjoying my life as much as possible.

Pretend you won a big lottery prize. What would you do right away?
If I won a big lottery prize I would definitely go on vacation with my family, on a cruise, and buy season tickets for the Patriots.