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Profile of the Week: Keiran President

By Bruna Pacheco
On March 16, 2018

Photo by: Bruna Pacheco

“No, I am not from Jamaica!” If you know Keiran President, this was probably one of the first sentences you heard him say.

President is a junior at OU, marketing major and captain of the men’s tennis team. He comes from a small tropical island in the Caribbean called Saint Lucia, and though he’s not a big fan of the Kansas cold weather, he is very happy with where he is at right now.

President says, “(In Saint Lucia) everything is more go with the flow, enjoy the day one step at a time.”

During his childhood, he grew up with his “little sister” who is a year younger than him, but he considers them twins. They used to dance and participate in many different sports, such as karate, track and field, volleyball and basketball.

“My childhood was full of sports and full of my little sister, as much as we could do everything together,” President says.

His mom remains the biggest influence in his life. She is the one who financed his way to America.

“She taught me that everything happens for a reason. Don’t stress about anything. Just live your life and be happy. Don’t get in trouble, don’t follow bad influences and I guarantee that you are going to live a happy life,” he says.

President started playing tennis at the age of nine. His dad used to play for fun every Sunday at a hotel, and one day his dad took him to play with his friend’s son, which is where it all began.

“I still remember that day; he took me to the tennis court earlier than he used to go. He showed me how to hit a ball and said that the only thing I had to do was hit the ball over the net, and this is how I touched a tennis racket for the first time,” President says.

After playing different sports during his childhood, President says he stuck with tennis because “that’s the one I saw success in -- not that I didn’t see in volleyball. I even won lots of tournaments, but with tennis, I just grew up with the sport and grew a lot of love.”

Before attending Ottawa University, he went to school at Cameron University, which is a Division II down in Lawton, Oklahoma, where he redshirted during his first year. In his second year, he was finally able to play and helped his team capture the conference title and go to the DII NCAA Nationals.

Unfortunately, he was not able to stay at Cameron due to eligibility issues and ended up transferring.

Just like at Cameron, he was not able to play his first semester at OU due to eligibility issues. Nonetheless his coach was very excited to have him on the team.

“Keiran is a very fine young man both on and off the court. He has great passion for the game and a maturity about him that is beyond his years,” head OU men’s tennis coach Scott Enge says. “We are lucky to have him as a leader on our team.”

President’s teammate Lukas Michenka describes President as a very energetic, optimistic hard worker.

The men’s tennis team is number 2 on the Pre-Season Conference Ranking and have received votes to be in the NAIA Top 25, which is the first time in program history.

As a pre-match routine, he usually listens to music to get hyped and settle into the right frame of mind. He listens to different genres of all kinds, which takes away the negativity while he is singing along.

Photo by: Bruna Pacheco

Not only a great athlete, he is also known as a person who people can count on by those around him.

One of his closest friends Jenna Kramer says, “Keiran is one of the funniest people I have ever met. He’s always there when I need help with school or just someone to talk to. He is a great friend.”

As an international student, he enjoys getting to know people with different cultures and backgrounds. However, he states that in some situations it can be hard to make the transition.

Back home when he goes out to eat, he commonly stays at the restaurant after he is done eating, just chilling and talking with friends. It’s not like here in the U.S. As soon as he is done eating, the check is already on the table, which make him feels like he needs to pay and leave as soon as possible.

President’s advice for international students who want to come to the US is that it is definitely an amazing experience, but only if you’re focused and ready to make the best of your life and time here.

After graduating in college, he has no structured plans yet. He will go with the wind. However, if he had an opportunity to stay in the U.S. he would, because there is more opportunity here.

All the matches hosted at OU are conference matches and will take place at Forest Park. Home matches schedules are as follows:

3:30 p.m. Mar. 23, Ottawa vs. Baker

1 p.m. Mar. 29, Ottawa vs. Kansas Wesleyan

1 p.m. Apr. 4, Ottawa vs. Tabor

1 p.m. Apr. 12, Ottawa vs. Bethany

1 p.m. Apr. 14, Ottawa vs. Bethel (Senior Day)

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