Warriors of the Court: This is the Osuigwe Family Journey
The Nigerian meaning for the last name Osuigwe is ‘warrior’, and warriors they are.
Desmond Osuigwe grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. During his childhood, he competed in several ITF tournaments and faced many other challenges, including survival. As a teenager, tennis was a way for Desmond to get out of the violence that was occurring across Nigeria during the state elections. With hard work and dedication, Desmond made his way to the United States to attend Jackson State University, before turning professional. In 1997, he became an IMG Academy tennis coach, where he still works today.
Desmond’s children, DeAndre, Whitney and Victoria, followed their father to IMG Academy as full-time boarding school students. DeAndre, a guard for IMG’s boys basketball team, recently graduated from IMG this spring. DeAndre played a crucial role in helping the Ascenders to a 26-2 record and the program’s first-ever DICK’s Nationals appearance during the 2016-17 season.
Whitney, a tennis student-athlete at IMG Academy, recently won the Girls’ Singles title at the French Open and is now the world No. 2 ranked junior. From a 6-year-old learning tennis in boots and jeans, to now a professional player, Whitney has persevered and worked her way up to the top.
Whitney and DeAndre’s youngest sister, Victoria, has big dreams like the rest of her family. Although she’s only in the third grade, the young tennis player already has a goal of being number one in the world and turning professional.
Despite their past success, the Osuigwe’s continue to push harder and reach further for their goals. DeAndre is training at IMG Academy this summer in preparation for his freshman season at Nyack College in New York. Whitney is in London competing in the Roehampton junior event, before taking on Wimbledon starting this Saturday.