3.5 Senior Caribbean Men at Nationals in Indian Wells, Calif.
© Jen Pottheiser
By J. Fred Sidhu
Indian Wells, Calif. – The men’s USTA Caribbean Section team arrived at the 2010 USTA League 3.5 Senior National Championships in style as they proudly wore their team uniform which sported Puerto Rico’s national colors.
This last summer, Puerto Rico hosted the 21st Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayaguez, a popular tourist destination known as Porta del Sol (Sun’s Gate).
Eduardo Sotomayor, a retired United States Army Colonel who captains the Caribbean men’s 3.5 senior tennis team, approached Puerto Rico’s Olympic Committee to see if his team could use some of the shirts from the Central American and Caribbean Games.
"I wanted to have the team members in a nice uniform to represent our colors," Sotomayor said. "I went to the Olympic Committee and asked if we could use these shirts and they said, ‘It’s all right, you’re going to represent Puerto Rico, so why not.’"
Sotomayor said his team is very proud to come to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and represent his country.
"We are part of the United States. A lot of people don’t know where Puerto Rico is or if we are U.S. citizens," he said. "We are very proud and we are eager tennis players and we love tennis. There is a big tennis tradition in Puerto Rico."
After winning 12 of their 14 league matches and capturing a very tough USTA Sectional competition, the Caribbean men’s 3.5 senior team is ready to represent Puerto Rico at the USTA Nationals.
As the players took their traditional team picture, they all yelled, "Vamos Puerto Rio!" (Let’s Go Puerto Rico!).