Van Emburgh boys thriving in their own respective sports - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Van Emburgh boys thriving in their own respective sports

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Wisconsin men’s tennis coach Greg Van Emburgh has seen great talent during his time with the Badgers. He’s had players make it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, but some of his best talent may be from under his own roof.

Van Emburgh’s oldest son Jake, 15, is one of the top young tennis players in the country. The Middleton High School freshman is ranked 13th in the country in his class and is the top player in the state. Jake learned the game from his father, who was a professional and he hopes to see how far the game can take him.

Back at home, in the garage, is where younger son Jenson hones his skill. The 13-year old, is a member of the US Paralympic Junior National Team in table tennis. A spinal cord injury at birth left Jenson paralyzed from the armpits down, but Jenson wasn’t going to let that affect his love for sports. At a young age he played tennis with family, but the mobility the sport requires was tough to meet in a wheelchair. While at one of his brother’s tennis tournaments, Jenson discovered a ping pong table. He picked up a paddle and played against other kids at the tournament and beat almost all of them. That’s when he discovered he had talent in a sport more suitable for him.

Over the past few years, Jenson has drastically improved his skill on the table with the help of his family. In June he’ll travel to Romania and Spain for tournaments and it’s his goal to make the 2016 US Paralympic team.

Following in the footsteps of their father, sons Jake and Jenson have found a love for their respective sports. Tennis is in their blood, and they both hope their dedication and ability can take them to great heights.

To see the video version of this story, click on the video link after it airs on 27 News at 10 on Wednesday night.

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