Over 30,000 individuals from all over the world were in attendance at the Universiade Summer Tournament 2017 opening ceremony this Augusr in Taipei, Taiwan.
Barnabas Koncz, however, sacrificed being present at the opening ceremony for school preparation, as he was getting his work together for the start of the fall semester. The next day, he took off for the other side of the world. Koncz traveled to represent both his home nation Hungary and his university.
The tournament is comprised as a “College Olympics” and is hosted every two years.
“The athletes have their own village, and every event is full of people. It is all in a high level; even though they are in college,” said Koncz.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Barni, he is truly a blessing to ORU and our tennis program,” said Head Coach Mike Milner.
Koncz was recruited as a freshman from Hungary to play tennis at ORU. In his youth he was ranked 15 in Europe leagues under 16. He has spent the past two years being first player in singles for ORU.
“Then the Hungarian Tennis Association called me,” Koncz said. “And told me that they still remembered me and that they wanted me to go.”
Koncz participated in men’s singles tennis, and men’s doubles tennis alongside a partner, another Hungarian who plays currently for Purdue University in Indiana. In the second round of singles, Koncz went up against an internationally ranked player.
“I lost,” said Koncz. “But unfortunately, I didn’t feel that he was better than me. The problem was the environment was really hot and very humid. I have never felt that bad on the court before.”
The Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire, is International Olympic Committee recognized in collaboration with the Olympics.
“I would like to try to be a professional tennis player for Hungary,” said Koncz. When asked about the prospects of the Olympics being a possible future outlook Koncz responded, “For sure.”
Due to an illness contracted in the final days of competition, Koncz did not finish the singles tournament.
“We earned a rank of the best 16, out of 128 players,” said Koncz.
Moving forward Koncz feels ready for the two remaining years he has at ORU. In October, the Golden Eagles prepare for the All-American Tournament, hosted here in Tulsa. After the tournament, they will travel to Stillwater for Regionals as the month ends.
“I am ready for the new ORU courts,” said Koncz. “After that I want to graduate, and travel around the world playing tennis.”