Nov. 29, 2012
This is the second installment of Laura Antonana Iriarte's "Aztecs A La Vista." Antoñana is a sophomore on the women's tennis team from San Sebastián, Spain. In her seconds article, she is profiling men's tennis player Hunter Nicholas.
"Hunter Nicholas to the service. Ready. Play"
Although he had to wait until the age of 18 to hear this sentence from a college umpire, indicating the beginning of the match, Hunter "Baboon" Nicholas was ready to play tennis way before it actually happened.
He started playing competitively at the age of 8, and he had his first practice before he was 5, but tennis was running in his blood even before he was able to say his first words.
Hunter Nicholas was born with a tennis racket and since then, they have never moved away from each other, they have always been the best of friends, and they have traveled to various United States tennis courts as one.
It is said that "blondes are noticed but redheads are never forgotten." Even though I am not a fan of cliché sayings because they are often times inaccurate, I believe this requires an exception because it perfectly matches our fellow Aztec.
If you go to San Diego State there is a chance you have sung the "I believe that we will win" chant before. And if you are into San Diego State tennis, there is an even bigger chance that you have seen Hunter Nicholas pump his team up before a match by doing the same.
This unique redhead carries the Aztec spirit among his tennis team, and just as that saying goes...Hunter is a redhead, and he is one of those people that you will never forget.
If you ask someone about the craziest thing they have ever done, they may not be able to give you an answer. However, if you ask this junior tennis player about his craziest experience he might take a few seconds to think about the response, not because he doesn't have any interesting to say, but because he needs to choose which story he is going to tell you.
Climbing, mountain biking, surfing, and skiing are just a few of his favorite hobbies. One of his many crazy adventures includes camping alone in the wilderness of Utah for three days. He admits that experiencing solitude, and being away from any other human being was one of the best things he has ever done.
"When you are there, you think of nothing but the big picture," Nicholas said. "You are not thinking, `I've got to go do my laundry or I've got to go do my homework.' You are thinking about trying to survive.
Although he did not have the company of any other human beings, Hunter was not alone as many animals such as bears, deer, moose, and more were prowling around his tent. Many people would probably feel very lonely, scared, or unprotected if they were exposed to a similar situation, but these emotions did not overwhelm this Aztec, because he was truly fascinated with what he was experiencing. Even though he states it was nice seeing his family after the third day of camp, he confesses he would have loved to have "lived with the world as one" longer.
Born Aug. 12, 1991 in Arizona, and raised in Utah, this young Aztec is not only known for his adventurous personality but also for his formidable athleticism. As a kid, he played almost every sport you can think of: football, basketball, hockey, baseball, golf, soccer and tennis. Not bad, huh?
You may believe this is physically impossible, and so did I. However, the truth is that Hunter used to jump like a grasshopper from one practice to another when he was a kid. It was impossible for him to experience exhaustion, as he was always full of energy. Fortunately, the blood of this junior continues to flow through his veins at a very high speed, and the passion he has for sports is still as big as it was before.
Hunter is tireless, he is a machine. Coach Gene Carswell affirms, "He is one of the hardest workers we have."
Words like "tired" or "sore" never come from his mouth as if they are not even a part of his vocabulary despite the fact that his team has 5 a.m. workouts, three days a week.
Hunter is always full of energy and enthusiasm when it comes to practice, and it is precisely what makes him such a special teammate an athlete.
However, his greatness goes beyond the physical discipline.
"Without a doubt he has an impact on his teammates, as he is a big part of the group and has a lot of leadership qualities," explains coach Carswell. "He is one of the guys that has the ability to bring the group together, and you cannot deny he has one of the greatest competitive spirits. He loves to compete."
But Hunter is not only known for his outstanding capabilities on the court but also for his personality off it. Former teammat, and captain of the 2011 team, Tim Schultz van Endert, started calling him "Baboon" a couple of years ago, because of the similarities you find between Hunter and the wise and philosophical "The Lion King" character, "Rafiki".
Now, I am not going to go into details about the possible physical similarities between these two characters, but what I can state is that just as Rafiki, Hunter has a very unique philosophy on life and a very funny sense of humor. SDSU men's soccer team member Kody Duff also explains that, "It's always a good time when you're around Hunter. He always brings out the best in people and knows how to make your day better."
Without a doubt, Hunter is an example of the ultimate athlete. His character on and off the tennis court is what makes him such a unique and special person. If his tennis game ever grows to be as big as his heart, he will without a doubt achieve his dream of pursuing a career as a tennis player.
Hunter is a great student and a gifted athlete, but more importantly, he is a marvelous person. If you get to know him, you better watch out because he may stay in your life for a long time.
As I said before, "Blondes are noticed, but redheads are never forgotten." Clearly our fellow Aztec, Hunter J Nicholas, is a good example of it.
LET'S GO HUNTER!