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Tuesday November 24, 2009Men's Tennis Announces Five Newcomers

Gainesville, Fla.

University of Florida men’s tennis head coach Andy Jackson has announced five players who will join the Gators in the coming year.

 

Sekou Bangoura, Jr. (Bradenton), Nassim Slilam (Paris, France) and Bob Van Overbeek (Boca Raton) have applied for admission and been accepted at UF and will compete with the team in the spring season of 2010, while Michael Alford (Tampa) and Andrew Butz (Vero Beach) have signed national letters of intent to join the Gators in fall 2010.

 

“We are very excited to have these five guys coming in,” Jackson said. “This group is very talented both on the court and in the classroom. With the addition of the three young men who will be joining us in January, we expect to be in the championship mix in the SEC and the NCAA right away and in the coming years.

 

“I want to thank [assistant coach] Jeremy Bayon for his fantastic efforts with this class,” Jackson continued. “We both are grateful that this group chose to be Gators.”

 

The signees include three players in the top 100 in the ITF World Junior Rankings and three of tennisrecruiting.net’s top-25 recruits.

 

“I’m very excited to attend the University of Florida beginning in January to continue my education and play tennis for the Gators,” said Bangoura, the 2009 Pan American Junior champion. “The team is very strong, and I’m looking forward to working with Coach Jackson and Coach [Jeremy] Bayon. I’ve had a strong tennis season, and I want to continue that in January and strive to win the NCAA Championship.”

 

Those coming in for the spring season join a squad that finished No. 11 in the nation last season and had five nationally ranked players in the fall preseason poll.

 

“I’ve been a huge Gator fan for a long time, so coming to Gainesville is a dream come true,” Van Overbeek said. “I’m really looking forward to continuing my education at the University of Florida while also getting to work full-time with Coach Jackson and Coach Bayon. I know it is a tremendous opportunity for me to train and compete with the other Gators, working towards the ultimate goal of bringing the NCAA Championship trophies home to the Gator Nation.”

 

Butz, a state champion high school player in Florida, said, "I grew up cheering for the Gators, and I am so excited to officially join the Gator Nation. I look forward to playing for Coach Jackson and helping the team win the SEC and NCAA championships."

 

Michael Alford

Wharton High School – Tampa, Fla.

Ranked a five-star recruit by tennisrecruiting.net…The 3A Florida State High School champion…USTA Florida State Doubles champion.

 

Sekou Bangoura, Jr.

Out-of-Door Academy – Bradenton, Fla.

The No. 6 recruit nationally and a blue chip recruit according to tennisrecruiting.net…Won the 2009 Pan American Junior championship…Runner up at the 2009 USTA Junior National Championship…Two-time winner of the USTA Kalamazoo Sportsmanship Award…Has five current ATP ranking points…Reached a high of No. 53 in the ITF Junior World Rankings.

 

Andrew Butz

St. Edwards High School – Vero Beach, Fla.

The 1A Florida State High School champion…USTA Florida State High School runner up…The 25th-ranked recruit and a five-star ranking by tennisrecruiting.net.

 

Johannes Robert “Bob” Van Overbeek

Kaplan College Preparatory School – Boca Raton, Fla.

A four-time USTA Futures quarterfinalist…Competed in the main juniors draw at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2009…Achieved a high ranking of No. 54 in the ITF Junior World Rankings…Has seven current ATP ranking points…The No. 7-ranked recruit and a blue-chip ranking from tennisrecruiting.net.

 

Nassim Slilam

Paris, France

Currently holds a -30 French ranking…Achieved a No. 86 ranking in the ITF Junior World Rankings…Reached No. 1,456 in the ATP Rankings…Two-time competitor in the main juniors draw at Roland Garros…Wins include ITF No. 6 Henrique Cunha.

 

-UF-

 

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