An Outstanding Squash Talent
The insightful meat of the piece comes however when writer Rineer chronicles Abdel’s transition from soccer to squash and the fact that Abdel is an amazingly accomplished international player before leaving Egypt to attend Mercersburg.
Abdel switched from soccer to squash after a soccer injury when he was 8. As Rineer notes:
“It didn’t hurt that his father, Mohamed, was a former national champion..” Through innate talent and training, “Latif was the top-ranked U15 and U17 player in Europe before coming to Mercersburg. He won 11 tournaments internationally and was a finalist at seven others. In 2008, he won the U.S. Junior Open Championship.”(GPA)
While he hasn’t found the competition he faces at Mercersburg as stiff as his international foes, he understands why he’s at Mercersburg and where he wants to be. “I want to go to college at an Ivy League school and then play professionally after college,” Latif told Rineer.(GPA)
From a coach’s perspective, you’ve got to appreciate his competititvness: “I just like to win…”(GPA)