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UA grad reinvents himself on the court

TUCSON — The Arizona Open in midtown Saturday brings some of the best pro wheelchair tennis players across the globe to Tucson Including hometown favorite Jason Keatseangsilp.

“It’s my number one passion,” Keatseangsilp said.

Jason grew up mesmerized by this game. As a fan he went to Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

In 2011, Keatseangsilp broke his back after falling 40 feet in a repelling accident. He was a senior in high school.

“When I was in inpatient in the hospital I used to play ping pong all the time,” he said. “And then I saw wheelchair tennis about a month or two after I got back. I was blown away.”

Now, he’s in his element, ripping forehands as his sister Jenni looks on.

“We’ve faced a lot as a family,” Jenni said. “Tennis has always been his dream. He’s fought and he’s overcome so much.”

Keatseangsilp graduated from the U of A in 2017 with a degree in engineering. Today, he’s reinventing himself on the court.

“That’s why I’m doing this, I didn’t go straight back into grad school, I didn’t try working for an engineering job, I just wanted to try out tennis,” he said. “It’s given me so many opportunities. Traveling, meeting new people, getting back into competition.”

“To see him doing his joy and pleasure in playing Tennis, it is inspiring,” Jenni said with a big smile. “We’re a close family. That’s why I get emotional. He makes us proud.”

Keatseangsilp just earned a spot on team USA for the wheelchair world team cup. That event is coming up at the end of the month in Orlando.

Just before graduation, he was part of a team that built an exoskeleton for a student with Cerebal Palsy.

Eric Fink

Eric Fink

News 4 Tucson Reporter.
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