Tennis star wants to stay in states
Jannik Kumbier is one of the top players on the Bobcat men’s tennis team. He has proven he can not only bounce back from hardships but also prosper, even after a right wrist injury. He posted a 28-11 record in the Spring 2018 season.
An international student from Neumunster, Germany, Kumbier moved here after his senior year of high school, when he was recruited as an athlete on scholarship. He graduated from Immanuel Kant Schule, where tennis and intensive education were integral parts of his life. Communication with a former GC tennis player and a recruiting company promotion back home in Germany also helped seal the deal in making GC Jannik’s college home.
He chose GC because he said, “It is an ideal combination of athletics and academics.”
While thoroughly enjoying his time here in the states, Kumbier reminisces on his hometown from time to time. His love of German rap, reading and watching movies gives him a break from grinding tennis on court, whether he is at GC or abroad.
“My childhood in Germany was awesome,” Kumbier said. “My family and friends were amazing; I had everything I needed to be successful.”
Kumbier’s passion for the sport began when he was a child.
“I started playing tennis at a very young age, like five maybe,” Kumbier said. “My parents got me to begin the sport. While at first I would hit just for fun, I began practicing more seriously around nine or 10 and have stuck with it ever since.”
Kumbier is a double major in economics and political science. After graduation, he plans to stay in the U.S. and pursue a career in finance or consulting. Although Kumbier’s homeland lies nearly 4,600 miles away, he has fallen in love with the U.S. after spending his college years here and plans to relocate to either Miami or Atlanta after graduation.
“Jannik is a different guy on and off the court,” said teammate Nathan Connelly. “On court of course he is serious and a team leader; off court he can have fun and has a good social life. Overall, he is a good mix of being focused and serious and having fun.”
Kumbier’s goal for the 2019 season is to stay healthy and play consistently since the past two years have been rough due to two serious injuries. He is looking to optimize his match play and continue using his dominant forehand as his main weapon on the tennis court.
“If I am playing and healthy, the Peach Belt Conference tournament is one of my favorite events,” Kumbier said.
With 3 of the teams in the PBC being Top 10 teams in the nation, Kumbier acknowledges the competition is intense, and he is practicing harder than ever.
“I am practicing attacking and ending more points at the net, as well as my backhand, just being more aggressive overall,” Kumbier said about personal strategy for the 2019 season.
“Jannik has done a good job for us over the years,” said head coach Steve Barsby. “He has been around and knows the competition that is out there. We have had probably 8-10 German kids since I have been coaching here. Every guy we have had from Germany is your stereotypical regimented guy.”
With Kumbier as a team leader, the Bobcat men’s tennis team is looking forward to a successful 2019 season.