Kaua’i High School grad Brad Lum-Tucker and his teammate Ikaika Jobe stood mid-court, their eyes sweeping the crowd of 900 at the Kailua Racquet Club.
“It took the first set to shake out the jitters,” said Lum-Tucker. “I’ve never played in front of a crowd that big.”
The Lum-Tucker/Jobe team was unseeded heading into the Kailua Men’s Night Doubles championship last weekend, and although they fell to the third-seeded team of Brendon Curry and Erik Vervloet 1-6, 4-6, 5-7, Lum Tucker reveled in the run.
“I was just happy to get out of the first round,” said Lum-Tucker, who said his team was down match-point in the initial round but eked out the win. “We just kept rolling from there.”
Lum-Tucker and Jobe attempted to become the first unseeded team to capture the championship. The team was to receive $600 each for their second place finish, but as college athletes can’t receive cash rewards, the proceeds will go to the Mike McKinnon Scholarship Fund, which benefits junior tennis.
“I think it’s good junior tennis will get the prize money. It’s a good cause; something I’ve wanted to help support.”
To Lum Tucker, a member of the University of Idaho tennis team, the run puts him in good standing mentally heading into the college year.
Lum Tucker said the tournament will give him confidence come NCAA play next season.
He also had the chance to prove himself against some of the State’s best doubles teams.
Curry is a South African who was ranked in the top 200 in doubles two years ago. Vervloet is a seasoned pro and acts as director of tennis at the Hilton Waikoloa.
Lum-Tucker was the Kauai High School Male Athlete of the Year three consecutive years – 1998, 1999 and 2000. He was also selected as the 2000 Nissan Hall of Honor.