Cate School senior Ethan Ha, who is waiting out the coronavirus at his home in Carpinteria, doesn’t plan to travel too far when the shelter-in-place orders are lifted.
The local tennis star announced this week that he is planning to enroll and play for Westmont College next year.
“The coaches are very smart and kind,” Ha said. “Assistant coach Christian Mathis has been like a big brother to me and has always been someone I could rely on.
“Westmont is also 15 minutes away from home and it means I can be close to my family and my friends, who have become a second family for me.”
Ha, a three-time Tri-Valley League singles champion, and his older brother Kevin combined to lead the Rams to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 semifinals in 2017. Kevin Ha now plays for Skidmore College.
“I am very excited to have such a quality young man like Ethan on our team and I am confident that he is going to thrive spiritually, academically and athletically at Westmont,” Westmont coach Mark Basham said. “It is exciting for us to bring such a quality player from this area who also has a strong faith.”
Tennis Recruiting Network listed Ha as a three-star prospect. He is ranked 76th in California, 82nd in the Southwest Region, and 332nd nationally.
“Ethan has an excellent tennis IQ, a strong passion for the game, and lots of match experience,” Basham said. “He has a very solid overall game which will become even better in the coming months.
“I would consider Ethan more of a counter-puncher than an attacking player and I believe he will develop more of an attacking game in the years ahead.”
Westmont has qualified for the NAIA National Men’s Tournament in nine of the 10 seasons since Basham became its head coach.