Although Drake University may not be the most well known university, the success of its student-athletes help to prove why this school should not go unnoticed.
Vinny Gillespie, a Scotland-native, is a sophomore and finance major at Drake. And, although one of the youngest on the team, this year he was named the team’s captain.
Assistant coach, Paul Gibbs, explains just how Gillespie has successfully led his team all year long.
“He goes the extra mile. He’ll set the standard. He’s always the first to cross the line in any sprint. He’s got to be the hardest worker,” Gibbs said. “He’s one of the most hard working, if not the most hard working on the team.”
And, his hard work has paid off. At the beginning of this year, Gillespie got ranked as high as 48 in the national rankings for singles. This was something not even he knew was possible.
“Before the fall started I wanted it to be my aim to try and get ranked. I didn’t really know how far I’d get. I was surprised when I got up to 48 at one point,” Gillespie said. “I was playing really well.”
As captain, he has found a way to lead his team best. And that is to lead by example.
“The role he has as captain he doesn’t force it. He doesn’t try to you know make people do stuff or tell people to do stuff. He just seems like he has a natural ability to lead people,” Bayo Phillips, a junior on the tennis team, said.
Many people may question why a teen from Scotland would choose to end up thousands of miles away from home. His love of tennis, even from a young age, is what continues to drive his passion for the sport.
“So I was two and I always saw my brothers play. I’ve got three brothers, so they would always played at the park and stuff and I always tried and join in, but obviously I wasn’t good enough. So I used to hit against my front door in my house until I was able to go to the park and play,” Gillespie said.
This sense of drive and commitment are just some of the characteristics that help him guide his teammates each time they step foot on the court.
“When they’re on the court I try and be as loud as possible. Try and show them that I’m there and I care and I want them to do well,” Gillespie said.
By Summer Brills