Zion Bivens is recognized as Sandhills Sentinel student-athlete for October.
Zion is an eighth grader at Crain’s Creek Middle School.
Zion has loved tennis from a young age but began developing his game throughout middle school. His tennis coach nominated him for his outstanding dedication and rapid progress in tennis.
“In one year, Zion has gone from a beginner to our number two player showing unwavering commitment and hard work,” said coach Susan Stroder. “His determination and growth are truly commendable.”
“I like the thrill of tennis and the feeling of being out there, having a racket in your hand and having fun,” said Zion.
Zion has demonstrated not only determination on the tennis court but also in the classroom. The principal of Crain’s Creek, Anthony Martin, noted that Zion’s grades have improved significantly since starting middle school. He has worked hard to move his grades to a B average in two years.
“Academically, he is doing well. He loves tennis, and I’m glad to hear he is going to play it at Pinecrest,” said Martin.
Zion has not chosen a specific college but plans to attend and aspires to become a photographer.
Outside of school, Zion is a member of Males of Distinction, a motivational success program that guides the development and perspectives of young men. He also plays in a recreational tennis league during the school’s off-season.
Zion’s mom told Sandhills Sentinel that his grandfather got him into playing tennis when he was about five or six. His grandfather is a senior pro pickleball player.
“I haven’t played pickleball yet, but I would like to,” said Zion.
Zion and his grandpa play tennis together, and he gives credit for where he is today to his mom and grandpa.
“My grandpa and my mom always take me out every Sunday to the tennis courts to practice. They have helped me become where I am now,” said Zion.
He plans to join the Pinecrest Patriots on the court next year as he strives to attend college and become a photographer.
~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel reporter Curtis Self.