Missouri Valley / Iowa

Quad Cities Teen is USA Today’s Player of the Year

Andrea Gallagher | September 06, 2023

16-year old Nicholas Patrick has been playing tennis for as long as he can remember, and held a racquet in his hand as soon as he could walk. Being named by USA Today as the National Boys Tennis Player of the Year is one of his greatest achievements, he said. 


“It was truly something special to me, as one of the greatest accomplishments I have achieved so far, and to see it happen live, with my dad by my side made it even better,” he said. “It was truly incredible to see all the hard work paying off!”


Patrick lives in Coal Valley, Illinois, and attends Alleman Catholic High School in Rock Island. He has won two state high school championships and hopes to continue that trend next season. He travels the country to play the sport he loves, and recently won the National Clay Court Doubles Championship in DelRay Beach, Florida. 

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“I would say my favorite part of the game is the competition,” Patrick said. “To truly see the hard work and dedication paying off through battling and fighting on the court is really special to me. I have been incredibly blessed to find some amazing success on the court, and that has only helped me love the game more.”


Part of the reason Nicholas was exposed to tennis so young is his father, Dan, is a teaching pro at the Quad City Tennis Club. 


“My Dad is truly one of the greatest influences I could ever ask for, in tennis and in life,” he said. “He is truly the reason I am where I am today and I could not be more grateful for his sacrifices.”


Nicholas is quick to point out that it takes a village, and his many coaches and mentors over the years helped shape him into the player he is today. As far as the future, he hopes to play college tennis and hopefully turn pro someday.


“Being from a smaller area and playing high school tennis, I have gotten a slight taste of what it feels like to represent a program beyond just me, and that is something I want to continue to do throughout my college career. Eventually, I want to work as hard as I can and grow through these years, and eventually play pro tennis.”


Every year, USA Today awards the top high school athletes in each sports category. For a full list, click here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/highschool/sports-awards/2023/07/31/2023-usa-today-high-school-sports-awards-winners/70488374007/



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