You Can Get There From Here:
Part 8

Barry Buss

I couldn't pick one of my professors out of a line up.

A couple of days at home. Enough time to do laundry and that was about it. I'm sure I had classes, but I couldn't have picked my professors out of a line-up. No trouble finding the practice courts though for two more days of grueling drills in preparation for the Pac-10 Championships.

Wednesday morning. Another road trip. Another week away from school. This time back up to Ojai. Arriving at Libby Park, this time as part of UCLA with the center courts reserved for us. We knocked out a quick practice, then right when wrapping up, the draws were released. I scoured it quickly. All the conference's top players. It was a who's who of American tennis. I find my name in the draw. I'm a who now.

I have a rough draw. They're all rough, but mine's particularly rough. Jim Grabb from Stanford first round; he hadn't lost a dual match all season. And if I survived that, Todd Witsken again in the afternoon. Stanford, USC. Wouldn't want it any other way.

The following morning, warming up on the top courts of Libby to a full house on a postcard-perfect Southern California Spring day. I noticed young faces pushed up against the fence, starry-eyed, watching me and my fellow Bruins hit, dreaming like I once dreamed that maybe that could be them out there someday.

Want to study the rest of this article?

Click Here to Subscribe!

Growing up in Boston and Los Angeles, Barry became a national ranked junior player at the age of 12, and a member of the elite USTA Junior Davis Cup Team. As a college player he tied the legendary Jimmy Connors 22 match win streak at UCLA. He is now an independent teaching pro working in Franklin, Tennessee.

You Can Get There From Here

The harrowing tale of an American junior tennis standout's descent into alcoholism, addiction, bipolar disorder, and eventual hospitalization and his journey toward healing and recovery. Essential reading if you care about alcoholism, recovery and mental health, with competitive tennis forming the backdrop of Buss' life.

Click Here to Order!

Tennisplayer Forum
Let's Talk About this Article!

Share Your Thoughts with our Subscribers and Authors!

Click Here