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Tennis, treats, and tricky choices

Well Howdy Everyone!

If your head is buried too deep in homework to have noticed, we have arrived safely into the wonderful month of December. A time of friends, family, feast, fun, football, and finals. As I am writing this, I have exactly two weeks until I take a plane back home to Minnesota (where the temperature is currently -2 degrees). All that being said, we still have time for a couple of more interviews. So let’s get to it. For today’s post, I had the opportunity to talk with a Biola athlete who feels as though his sport deserves more attention. Hopefully, after reading this your interest will be sparked.

Today I sat down with David Mossman, a sophomore business major, who is on the Biola men’s tennis team. David is one of those guys you can just meet and already know that he’s a pretty cool guy. We made a little small talk before beginning the interview, and I was excited to hear his story.

An unexpected sport

Unlike most athletes, David was not born holding a tennis ball. He did not dream of playing college tennis when we was young. He didn’t even play tennis at all! David played baseball, football, and soccer. Freshman year however, a friend of David’s tried out for tennis, and told David he should do the same. That’s all it took, and soon David was hooked. David says he loved the fact that, while it was still a team sport, it was “laid back” and he could “work at [his] own pace.” So, David played all through high school, and was eager to continue at a collegiate level.

APU or Biola?

The question, however, was where to go to college. You see, David is the son of two Azusa Pacific University graduates. David told me he wanted to come to Biola to clear his family name. Okay, I’m joking, but I can only assume that is what he was thinking.

While David’s college choices were only between two Christian schools (APU and Biola), he had not grown up with Christian education. He was excited to go to a university with a Christian atmosphere, something both schools (even APU) had. All in all, David’s decision (much like my own college choice) did not come on a billboard sign from God. Rather, when the time came to decide, David simply picked Biola.

Appreciating the simple things

Even though David did not feel directly called to Biola, he says that he has definitely felt confirmation of his decision since arriving. Mostly, it is in the simple things. Throughout the conversation, we talked about academics and sports, but mostly David was excited about the little things people don’t usually take time to be grateful for. He mentioned how much seeing prayer all around campus has blessed him. From classes, to chapel, to the dorms, David thinks the constant prayer happening is “really cool.”

Another favorite thing about Biola” “People smile at each other,” David said with a smile of his own. “People smiled in public school too, but it’s different here,” David added, describing the difference between public high school and Christian college.

Tennis, Donuts, and Ice Cream

David had only positive things to say about Biola tennis, his teammates and his coaches. He admits that while he and his teammates would probably have not found themselves friends outside the sport, it has brought them together in ways nothing else could have. The coaches have a lot to do with that. David couldn’t help but laugh as he told me how his coaches will bring donuts to practice every so often. He even told me a story of how the team once chased down an ice cream van driving past for a mid-practice treat. “We work hard,” David said, but he also takes pride in the fact that they aren’t afraid to have fun either.

A sport worth watching

As you know, I always offer an open mic portion at the end of my interviews. David used his to give a shout out to his sport. David described tennis as a sport offering “much diversity,” adding that it’s “very competitive.” He’s exactly right. Whenever my family and I are at hotels, my sister always insists that we watch tennis (the only time she is ever interested in the sport). But watching it has made me realize just how competitive it is.

If you have never watched it, you are missing out. Many of Biola’s opponents come to U.S. schools from overseas, so the sport involves many different nationalities. David also shared that they are in a very competitive league, and one person he played last year has even gone professional. So if you are free some afternoon next semester, go cheer on Biola tennis. You might be surprised to find yourself soon addicted.

Giving thanks post-Thanksgiving

Though I usually end with “open mic,” I wanted to finish today’s post with the thanksgiving David gave to God. I think it’s something we can all share in, especially at this point in the semester. David thanked God for three things in particular.

  1. Placing him on a strong foundation
  2. Providing growth in his life
  3. Remaining faithful.

So as this year draws to a close, I think David has given a great reminder to us all. Let us never take Biola’s strong foundation for granted. Let us desire to continue our growth in Christ. And may we never forget to praise God for His unending faithfulness.

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