Monday, July 26, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Jung comes into his own as team captain
By MATT KRASNOFF
Daily Sports Writer
When you can barely claim to be
six-feet tall and 150 pounds soaking
wet, you might look the same as any
other student doing work in the Fish
And yet, you just might be the cap-
tain of the Michigan men's tennis
team - senior Jason Jung.
Twice a member of the Academic
All-Big Ten, Jung spends plenty of
time concentrating on his academics
in the heart of Angell Hall. But it's his
ability to truly embody what it means
to be a student-athlete that separates
Jung from his peers.
Jung - a native of West Torrance,
California - has helped turn the Wol-
verines from an afterthought in the
Big Ten to one of the conference's top
teams in his first three seasons. Now,
as the squad's captain and unques-
tioned leader, he'll look to take Michi-
gan to the next level.
Jung was born to Shane and Shu
Jung, both of whom came to America
from Taiwan. Shane came over for
college, and immediately became a
In aphone interviewwith the Daily,
Shane Jung, Jason's father, was able
> recall a four-year old Jung hitting
a tennis ball with a racket against a
wall. Shane continued on how Jung
played in tournaments for kids eight
and under when he was only six.
"My dad really got me into tennis,"
Jason said. "He was always my coach
But Jung didn't really immerse
himself in the sport until he was
almost a teenager.
"Tennis kind of took off for me
when I was 12, which is when I started
traveling to play a lot more," Jung said.
From then on, the sport became an
everyday thing for Jung. And as tennis
became a more integral part of Jung's
life, so did sportsmanship. Shane and
Shu, Jason's mother, made a concerted
effort to make sure that their son pre-
sented himself in the proper manner
both on and off the courts. Sometimes
that was second nature to Jung, who
never really had much to say.
"Growing up, he was really quiet
and always wanted to help people, but
he also always wanted to have fun,"
Shu added, "He loves tennis and
really wants to do well, but since he
was little, he's been kind of quiet."
Leaving his family behind and
coming to Michigan wasn't the easi-
est move for Jung and his family. His
father said the adjustment was dif-
ficult at first, mainly because of how
much he loves seeing his son play.
But Jason never forgothis roots and
makes a point to talk to Shane on the
phone after every match - even with
the three-hour time difference.
"My dad developed my game, and
he still plays a big part in my life,"
As a high school tennis star, where
you can stay close to home and play in
the Pac-10, one of the nation's top ten-
nis conferences, many questioned why
jung would leave the West coast.
But Jung - whose older brother
attended UC-San Diego - knew
Michigan was the right fit for him.
Jung's parents lived in Michigan
when they first came to America,
making it an attractive destination if
he were to leave the state. And even
though he felt no pressure to stay in
the court, Jung would have to learn
how to balance being both an ath-
lete and a student. After struggling
at the beginning of his first semester,
a determined Jung turned to older
teammates for advice - Mike Sroc-
zynski, in particular, became Jung's
A year older than Jung, Sroczynski
was happy to take his new teammate
under his wing. The two would take
their friendship to the tennis courts,
becoming doubles partners for Jung's
first two seasons.
"When we were paired together for
doubles, I was really excited to play
with him because I knew he was a
very talented player," Sroczynski said.
Jung also found comfort in fellow
freshman Chris Madden. The two
knew each other from growing up in
California and were paired as room-
mates their first year in Ann Arbor.
Madden reminisced about going
through "freshmen stuff" with Jung.
See JUNG, Page 12
Michigan senior Jason Jung will be the Wolverines' captain next season.
his home state, for Shu, it was tough to When Jung came to Michigan as a
let go of her youngest child. freshman in 2007, he was considered
"They always said it was my deci- one of the program's top recruits of
sion to go wherever I wanted to go all time. In fact, tennisrecruiting.com
(to college)," Jung said. "Of course had him ranked as high as No.1 among
my mom wanted me to stay close to the nation's high school seniors.
home." But before he could take his spot on
But ultimately Shu felt that Michi-
gan's coach Bruce Berque was too
good to turn down.
"A lot of the reason he ended up
at Michigan is the coach," Shu said.
"He really liked (Berque)."
Jung added that the University's
academic standard along with its
athletic prowess was an irresistible
And with a program on the rise
and three quarters of a diploma in
hand, these parents are just happy to
see their son succeed.
"(Michigan) is a really good y
school," Shu said. "I think he's
learned and grown a lot in his first
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