TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Danny Alex has always felt at home on a tennis court, and as he gets ready to leave his home of Rickards High School after four years of playing for the Raiders, he can reflect on a job well done.
"I've been doing this for 33 years and this is one of the most fine gentlemen I've ever come across," said head tennis coach Jeff Rauschenberg. "He's just got a certain drive about him."
The Rickards senior has left his mark on the tennis court.
"It's definitely an individual sport, but it's a team sport as well," said Alex. "There's a success that's fulfilling for not just myself but the team."
He's helped the Raiders win two team district titles, and he has a grit that just can't be taught.
"He plays a singles match that goes about two and a half hours, and he starts cramping up," said Rauschenberg. "He goes to the hospital gets a couple of IV's. That kid, nothing I could talk him out of. He played the doubles, was cramping that whole match, and still gutted it out."
"Knowing that I'm leaving this school with something that's established, I accomplished something in my time here," added Alex.
On the court and in the classroom. As an IB student, Alex has a 4.75 GPA.
"These are not athletes, these are student athletes," said Rauschenberg. "It's different. You can have an athlete that's also a student, but these guys? The academic part is first."
"I'm surrounded by peers who are just as academically talented as I am, so we kind of build each other up, whether it's on the courts," said Alex. "My doubles partner pushes me to become a better player and same in the classroom."
A drive to be great for his peers, for his coach, and for himself.
"I hope that my teammates look up to the things I've been able to do and want to do better. I hope next year their goal is to make it to state, that is the standard they establish. I want that to be the impact I leave as I graduate."
And leaving a legacy along the way. Alex said he wants to study medicine, and he said he's not of a specific specialty just yet, but he said he'll see what interests him once he gets to medical school.