Balancing college and athletics is no easy task. Being a professional athlete isn’t a walk in the park, either. For former Virginia tennis player JC Aragone, he’s done - or continues to do - those things while fighting another challenge: diabetes.
While participating in a tournament in Florida, Aragone got a deadly scare.
From the New York Times:
“But in 2011, a respiratory infection brought on by an adverse drug reaction landed him in intensive care. The diabetes diagnosis soon followed. He was in and out of hospitals for nearly two years. He did not pick up a racket for nearly three. His parents, Paula and Facundo, watched him waste away.”
Aragone had aspirations of going pro as a junior, but his medical issues and diagnosis derailed that plan. Instead, he recovered and impressed Virginia’s then-coach (ugh, still so depressing) Brian Boland that he was talented enough to contribute at UVA. The Cavaliers won three national championships in Aragone’s time at UVA, including Aragone clinching the 2017 title from the No.5 spot.
Aragone’s story has spread like wildfire throughout the US Open, and he’s become a bit of an inspiration. Added to all the excitement is the fact that Aragone almost wasn’t even a part of the tournament, earning the very last wild card spot into the qualifying tournament. Aragone fell in straight sets to Kevin Anderson (RSA) to cut his US Open short, but he performed admirably.
Check out this spot JC did with the Tennis Channel. It’s worth the time:
Virginia Sports TV featured Aragone on their ‘Chasing Uncompromised Excellence’ series, which I also recommend:
Aragone, along Kwiatkowski, will play in the American Collegiate Invitational tournament. The Invitational runs September 7-9 during the second week of the US Open.