Eiffel state of mind: Sophomore Tennis player David Lin selected to receive 3C4A Achievement Award


David Pradel

Sophomore tennis player David Lin hits the ball during the doubles round against Palomar College on March 17 at the SDCC Tennis Courts. Photo credit: David Pradel

David Pradel, Sports Editor

Maintain a 4.0 GPA? Check. Overcome obstacles on the tennis courts? Check. Help advocate for the Associated Students Government at San Diego City College? Check.

It’s not every day where a student hops on a plane and travels more than 5,000 miles from Paris to San Diego and accomplishes his or her goals. But for sophomore tennis player David Lin, he has swung himself to find success in Southern California and has been selected to receive the Community College Counselors/Advisers Academic Association (3C4A) Achievement Award. It will be presented to him on April 1 at the 18th annual California Community College Athletic Association convention in Ontario.

“I would like to thank my coach (Head Coach Brandon Lupian), because he has been pushing me forward since the first time I came to San Diego and I think it’s because of him that I think I got this award,” Lin said.

“This award means a lot to me because I was losing a lot last year and seeing that I can overcome the defeats — it’s always a positive thing to see, to know and to have in your life,” Lin continued.

The 3C4A Achievement Award honors student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and or emotional odds to achieve success while participating in intercollegiate athletics.

“Getting to know David Lin and understanding his ambitions in life, his temperament and his work habits — I mean there is no better representative to win that award than him,” Lupian said.

“He has worked hard from day one, actually even prior to day one stepping here at San Diego City College. … Just the work only getting accepted to the school is hard and he did all of the (international) requirements and to his credit he is here and he has really taken advantage of his time here,” Lupian continued.

It was nearly two years ago when Lin arrived to San Diego and for the French native speaker who did not know a word of English — he still remained focused on starting his career in the States.

“For the first two weeks I didn’t understand anything to be honest, but somehow I don’t know what happened but in the third week I picked up everything and started to understand,” Lin said. “My English wasn’t good still but I could understand which helped a lot.”

Lin went on to say that with his family back in France and by joining the tennis team and going from classroom to classroom, he was able to surround himself with English native speakers, which helped him quickly overcome the language barrier.

When the men’s tennis team heard he was being honored with the 3C4A award next month along with a $250 scholarship, the team celebrated and as sophomore teammate German Ziella expressed that he and other players on the team were not surprised due to his work ethic on and off the tennis courts.

“As much as he was dedicated in tennis, he was twice as dedicated to his studies. … I’m happy for him and excited that he is going to get that award because he is representing the team and also the school and we are proud of having him on the team,” Ziella said.

Aside from playing tennis, Lin is also a senator in the Associated Students Government at City College.

Recently, Lin and along with seven other student representatives traveled to Washington, D.C., where they met with U.S. Representative of California’s 51st District Juan Vargas and helped advocate issues of higher education in the San Diego County.

ASG’s Public Relations Officer Alejandra Castellanos expressed that with Lin being an international student, he brings a different perspective to the table which contributes to the overall success of the Student Government.

“He has been in ASG for one semester but within that one semester we’ve seen him show up ready to work. … During the meetings, he provides a lot of useful feedback and is not afraid to speak up which is really beneficial because we don’t want a board that agrees on the same issue, we want opposing viewpoints so we can make sure we cover not just one student but different types of students,” Castellanos said.

“I think it’s great and having a student like David, who is so well versed, is a good representation of what City College is about. We are a diverse campus with a good international population, as far as numbers go, and you know we want people like David to excel because if individuals excel, the whole campus excels,” Castellanos continued.

Lin is set to graduate this spring, and during his two years at City College, has maintained a 4.0 GPA with honors and has hopes to transfer to an Ivy League school, such as Babson College, and to major in business.

The 21-year-old admitted, wherever he goes, his level of play on the tennis courts is not at the Division 1 level, but he won’t mind picking up the racket and playing on the club team.

“It’s really fitting that he goes out like this by winning the award and probably having one of the most positive experiences of all the kids that I have come across,” Lupian said.