Robert McAdoo IV: A Tennis Star on the Rise
Pictured Right: Hall of Fame basketball player Bob McAdoo (top left) with his son, Robert McAdoo III, and grandson, Robert McAdoo IV. McAdoo IV is one of the nation’s top 9-year-old tennis players. (credit: McAdoo Family)
The wind was crackling and the air was chilly on a late autumn day at the tennis courts at Tamaques Park in Westfield, New Jersey. It was at the end of the long outdoor tennis season.
There was only one court being used. The sound of the ball being hit was barely audible in these conditions, but what could be heard was a booming voice.
“Way to go son, that’s it. Make good contact with that ball.” That familiar voice known throughout the courts in the area belongs to the tennis coach Robert McAdoo III. He was coaching his then 8-year-old son Robert McAdoo IV, who is now one of the top 9 year-olds in the country.
“What sets us apart is our pursuit of excellence,” said McAdoo III, who was a Division I tennis and basketball player at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. “We don’t let any obstacles stand in our way. I’m trying to teach my son to have a warrior mentality.”
Mac as he is known just finished third in the “Little Mo” National Tennis Tournament held in Austin, Texas. It’s no wonder that expectations are set so high for Mac. His paternal grandfather is the Hall of Fame basketball player, Bob McAdoo, and his maternal grandfather, Tim Kakulia, was a top professional player from the Soviet Union in the early 70s.
Still, Mac is really just a regular kid from Mahwah, New Jersey who also enjoys school, playing basketball, joking around with his friends, and spending time with his mom, dad, and 4-year-old brother, Temo. By the way, his mom was also a tennis champion in college.
While the family has set very high goals for Mac as he makes his way through the world of junior tennis, they talk openly about having Mac some day be a professional player. Right now their main focus is on Mac’s development as an individual. The family values good character and attitude as much as winning tennis tournaments.
“I really enjoy playing on the tennis court because it’s where I feel special,” said Mac. #
In addition to being the sports editor of Education Update, Mike Cohen is the founder/director of Throwback Sports (a sports and educational program for children of all abilities). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.