Tennis Athlete from Japan is Awarded 2004-05 Student Athlete of the Year

Age doesn't seem to interfere with thirty-six-year-old athlete, Masami Hashimoto's vision of playing tennis.

In Hashimoto's case, age comes alongside with improvement. Being one of the oldest players on the Santa Monica College tennis team is a definite advantage as far as experience goes.

In addition to playing tennis for seventeen years for local tennis teams in Japan, Hashimoto has also taken advanced tennis lessons at SMC in the fall of 2004 with Head Coach Richard Goldenson.

Living in Los Angeles for 2 years, Hashimoto has attended SMC for two semesters, and will soon be transferring to UCLA.

Hashimoto claims that Andre Agassi is her preferred modern professional tennis player because of his talent, and for the simple fact that she can relate to him because both athletes are roughly about the same age.

Hashimoto has been awarded several titles to honor her outstanding dedication as a devoted athlete during her stay in Los Angeles. "In Japan I only went to the quater-finals and the semi-finals, never the championships," said Hashimoto.

Hashimoto was one of the chosen sixteen SMC students from intercollegiate teams that were named 2004/05 Student Athlete of the Year by the SMC General Advisory Board last week.

In addition to Hashimoto's recent accomplishments, she has also made it to the Southern California Regionals this year. Hashimoto also notes that in her first tournament, the Western State Conference (WSC) Championships in San Luis Obispo her record title was number four of all the finalists.

Hashimoto will certainly be back next semester to share her gift in tennis-playing with her fellow teammates. "My team was emotionally there for me," said Hashimoto.

Hashimoto said the experience this semester has made it possible for her to look forward to next season. Hashimoto also recognizes Goldenson for assisting during her stay on the SMC tennis team.

She also added that it has been a battle to play tennis because of current complications with her wrist. In time she should recover in order to manage her return to the tennis court to defeat any future opponents.