Kent-Meridian’s Nankya enjoying Tennis in Washington

With all the hardships that are attached to sport in Uganda, opportunity elsewhere could be a treasure so special and worth cherishing.

A tennis racquet, tennis balls, and broad smiles are all Kent-Meridian High School’s Gloria Nankya embodies to enjoy a great day on court.

A junior from Uganda, she moved to the United States five years ago and recently became an American citizen.

From tennis becoming a friend so close, teammate Queen Lisa Gisage, a sophomore born in Congo, is another with whom diversity fades.

“We are like sisters,” Nankya told Kent Reporter. “They (classmates) call us twins. When we are walking around school everyone calls to her thinking it is me.”

Nankya started her sport career off encouragements from her father that saw her appreciate its role in her life.

“My dad told me I should join a sport or do something. Most of the time my dad encourages us to watch sports on TV, so I saw tennis and it was really fun.”

Despite a total of 24 languages being spoken on the school team, colleague though in second year, Maryann Thorp, is proud of their one big tennis family.

“We really pride ourselves in that even though they come from all over the world, all walks of life when we are the on court we are just one big tennis family.

“You don’t really see them from where they come from. They are tennis players. They are kind of like my kids.”

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