BYU tennis players Garret and Derek Vincent grew up an hour away from each other in Southern California. The two cousins wondered if they would ever get to play college tennis together.
Garret and Derek — both freshmen — were more than excited when they found out they were joining the BYU men’s tennis team together.
They’re already hard at work making the most of their first year experience.
The two were bound to become interested in the sport due because of a storied history of tennis in their family. Derek’s dad, Garth Vincent, played tennis for Harvard University while Garret’s dad, Blair Vincent, played for UC Riverside.
Garret first picked up a tennis racket when he was about 6-years-old. He said his dad would frequently take him to the tennis courts at a park near his house.
“I loved tennis. I would play for hours at a time and would just hit countless balls,” Garret said.
Derek’s father would drive him to tennis clinics at a local park on Saturdays.
Although they both grew up in the tennis community, they rarely practiced with each other. They said their parents preferred they didn’t compete against each other, so they decided to partner for doubles throughout their youth years.
The two would hang out with each other both on and off the court. If they weren’t playing tennis, they were often together at the beach with their friends.
Garret was a five-star recruit with a successful junior career. Derek overcame physical challenges and surgeries and had great wins during his junior career.
The two have ambition to be the best, but say they are just grateful to play with each other.
“It’s nice to have someone you know and someone that’s family doing the same thing you’re doing. It helps motivate you,” Garret said. “It makes it seem you’re not the only person, you’re not doing it alone.”
Derek echoed Garret and said playing with a family member on the same team is special.
“I know I have Garret to hang out with and talk to anytime,” Derek said. “I haven’t heard of anyone else that gets to have that experience with someone they’re going to be best friends for the rest of their life.”
The cousins are looking to make an impact on the team and help lead them to a successful year. Senior Jeremy Bourgeois trained with them over the summer and said he is excited to have them join the team.
“It will be interesting to see what they can bring to the team,” Bourgeois said. “They both individually work hard and bring a lot of energy to the team.”
Derek said the the team consistently pushes him on the court and motivates him to be a better tennis player.
“The whole team aspect is different than the juniors (careers), so I think all of the encouragement that we get from the team is really helpful,” Derek said.
Assistant coach Matt Cowley is helping the cousins with their technique and mental toughness.
“I think the coaches will help me stay disciplined and focused on the court and learn how to fight a little more on the court,” Garret Vincent said.
Head coach Brad Pearce said he believes the two will be a solid addition to the team.
“They’re both very eager and trying hard to earn a spot on the team and the line up,” Pearce said. “I think they are coming in with their own goals and own ambition.”