Former Tennis Player Jack Baker Wins Vegas Ping Pong Tournament
Courtesy of South Alabama Athletics
LAS VEGAS --- Former University of South Alabama men’s tennis player Jack Baker is $100,000 richer these days after winning the inaugural HardBat Classic ping pong tournament in June.
The Classic, held at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, brought in hundreds of players from all over the country. Baker won 17 matches in three days, including victories over Trevor Runyan, one of the top players in the U.S., in the semifinals and 73-year-old Wayne Obertone in the finals.
“No one would really think that anyone could win that amount of money doing that,” said Baker. “It just feels crazy… it’s surreal.”
A camera crew was in town last week to profile his run from The Corner Bar, where he entered the tournament, to Vegas.
Formerly ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as a senior at USA, Baker finished his eligibility in 2008 after advancing to the round of 32 at the NCAA Championships, the best finish by a South Alabama player since 2005.
He was named to the Sun Belt’s all-conference team in 2008 as both a singles and doubles player, and ended the season ranked No. 27 in Division I.
Baker is set to graduate in December with a degree in sport management.
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