Tennis, teen a perfect match

Quincy Briscoe's passion is tennis, and there is little he loves more than sharing that passion with others. The 15-year-old high school student just returned from a three-week trip to Southeast Asia with his photographer father, Christopher Briscoe. On his trip, Briscoe toted his racquet and a lot of tennis balls to small villages in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, where he taught local children the joys of the game.

While in Vietnam, Quincy's father wrote to tell us how well the trip was going.

"The tennis idea has turned out far better than I had expected," Christopher Briscoe wrote. "We lived in the Cambodian jungle with a family where Quincy handed out tennis balls to the village kids. He helped plant rice there and gave the children their first tennis lessons. They follow him everywhere."

During his trip, Quincy took to time to share his thoughts with the Daily Tidings about his travels, his plans for the future and, of course, tennis.

DT: How long have you been playing tennis?

QB: I have been serious about tennis for about three years.

DT: How did you first get interested in tennis?

QB: When I was 4, I was on my first tennis court in Santa Barbara. My dad bounced a few balls to me and I was hooked. I bugged my dad ever since to teach me how to play. Also, tennis has always been a part of my life. My dad plays tennis, and my grandmother even played a round at Wimbledon.

DT: What is one of your favorite things about the game?

QB: I love getting into "the zone" when I play. Everything seems perfect and it seems I can't miss. Nothing else matters.

DT: How often do you practice?

QB: I try and spend as much time on the court as possible, which ends up being about five times a week.

DT: Do you have a particular coach or teacher you work with?

QB: Dick Streng and Ari Zaslow are my coaches. Dick is my school coach. He makes things really fun. Ari is my coach at the Ashland Tennis Fitness Club. Both of them have really helped me with the one thing I really love. Ari has also taught me how to string racquets.

DT: What were some of your favorite subjects in school?

QB: English and global studies, both taught by Tim Cate, were my favorites subjects in school last year. Tim Cate is really enthusiastic, and I just connected with him. With global studies, I like learning about the world and the way we are all connected.

DT: What do you want to do after you graduate high school?

QB: Ultimately, I'd like to play tennis professionally or teach tennis.

DT: Do you travel often with your family?

QB: We've traveled in the U.S., but this was my first trip outside of the U.S.

DT: What prompted the idea to bring your tennis gear along?

QB: It was actually my mom's idea. She suggested I take my racquet and a few tennis balls to show the kids in the village how to play. It was a good idea, so I ended up bringing 100 balls, and two racquets.

DT: Tell us a bit about your experiences in Southeast Asia.

QB: This trip to Southeast Asia is one of the best trips I have been on. I have lived in the Cambodia jungle with a family, planting rice. I have explored a Vietnamese island on a moped and slept on a Chinese junk surrounded by 3,000 tiny Islands near Hanoi. One of the best times was when I took two tennis racquets and 100 tennis balls to a tiny Cambodian village and showed the kids how to play. Everywhere I went I gave kids tennis balls as gifts. It was great to see their faces light up when I handed them their first tennis ball.

DT: Any advice to young people who are also passionate about tennis?

QB: I would say just get out there and find people who play tennis and learn from them. Have fun.

DT: What are your other interests outside of tennis?

QB: In the winter I snowboard, or at least I did last year. Tennis is really a year-round sport if there's a racquet club. I've tried a lot of other sports, but nothing else has really clicked like tennis.

DT: Tell us something you have done recently that makes you proud.

QB: In middle school I didn't really know a lot of people and I didn't have a lot of friends, but in high school I made friends, and became more of a people person. It's given me the confidence to believe I can do anything I want to do, and be a professional tennis player.

DT: Can you tell me something about your parents that make you proud?

QB: Even though my parents are separated, they have a good relationship. They've always been there for me. I've had the best childhood.

Photos courtesy of Christopher Briscoe

Editor's note: To nominate someone you know for consideration in the Junior Ashlander series, send an e-mail with a brief synopsis of the candidate to . Her e-mail is:

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