Hosep Orojian Serves His Way To The Top


HARD-HITTING: Hosep Orojian lines up a forehand smash during a match agaisnt the Pierce Brahmas at home.

Kendall Faulkner, Staff Writer

For many students, their freshman year of college is critical in determining the direction of their lives.

Despite being only in his first year of college, Hosep Orojian is considered GCC’s number one tennis player for the 2014 season, leading his team in singles matches (a game of one-on-one tennis).

“It’s a good feeling,” Orajian said. “It shows that you improved and worked hard.”

Although Orojian may be new to college athletics, he has been playing tennis since he was 11 years old. His uncle introduced him to the sport due to the influence of professional tennis player Andre Agassi, who is of Armenian descent from Iran.

Orojian’s family background is similar to that of Agassi. Although Armenian, Orojian was born in Iran but his family migrated to Armenia a few years later. During his late childhood, however, they moved to the United States.

He attended Glendale High for two years but chose home-school in his last two years in order to focus on tennis and give himself more time to practice.

When his tennis coach asked if he would move to Argentina with him to explore better tennis opportunities, Orojian agreed, despite having received a scholarship to UC Davis. After a few months in Argentina, he discovered how difficult it is to maintain a professional tennis career, especially since many players begin training from a very young age.

Realizing he was not ready to take that step, he moved back to California. When he returned, it was too late to accept UC Davis’s offer, so he enrolled at GCC.

“I was prepared to work hard,” he said. I did not know what to expect, but I did not expect it would be easy. I wanted to come here and get educated.”

Knowing some of the players on the tennis team was an advantage, describing his team as a tight unit and the members as his best friends.

“He is competitive,” said Head Tennis Coach Bob MacKay. “He has a real nice personality and he is funny. He is a team member – it makes you wonder what he had to do to become a player like him, because it doesn’t happen overnight.”

Orojian believes tennis and life have many parallels. The game of tennis is all mental, just like life. The way that one handles themself on the court is similar to the way they would handle themselves in many aspects or struggles in life. What one sees on the court is what one sees in life.

“What I learned from the tennis guys [in Argentina] is that they are fighters,” Orojian said. “That is what I took out of it. I became more of a fighter.”

MacKay says that the name of the game is not practice — it is matches.

“He knows his way around that tennis court,” said MacKay. “That is his house.”

Despite his humorous personality and the kindness he displays, he still takes each match very seriously. Because his love for the game is so strong, losses are never easy.

“I get mad and I take my anger out on the opponent,” Orojian said, acknowledging the fact that he has a temper.

He regretfully recalls getting into verbal arguments with a Bakersfield player.

“He is the nicest guy ever and I just attacked,” he said.

Just like he is trying to figure out how to control his anger in the face of loss, he is also still figuring out where his life is going to take him with his next three years of college. Despite having worked with professional players, he is still not sure if he would like to that next step upon graduation. However, because he loves the game, he sees himself playing for the rest of his life — even if it is not professionally.

“I can’t see it right now, because it matters how I feel in that time,” Orojian said. “My game isn’t that bad, I could try. It’s the effort. [The question is] do I want to put myself in that situation after college?”

His long-term goals include transferring to a university and continuing to play tennis as he studies business.