Eight years ago and half a world away, Carl Kuschke picked up his first tennis racket. He was an athletic child growing up, running track and playing rugby in his native South Africa, but he found his passion in tennis.
“I really loved playing tennis so I figured I’d take it as far as I could,” Kuschke said. He then began channeling his athletic focus into the one sport.
While playing prep tennis, Kuschke reached as high as No. 300 on the International Tennis Federation world junior rankings and peaked as the fifth best South African under-18 player.
When Kuschke, now 20, finished high school in Johannesburg, South Africa, he wanted to pursue tennis in college. His coach at the time had been in contact with Kris Nord, the men’s tennis coach at the University of Montana. Nord showed interest in the young player and recruited him to come play in the United States.