As senior and co-captain of the tennis team, Kathline Durden has a lot on her plate. From classes to practice, Durden’s hard work and athleticism shines through her persona as she takes it all in stride.
A native of Detroit, Durden played tennis for most of her life, but not on a public school team.
She was homeschooled and individually coached for the sport. She grew up training with Joe Goldthreate, father of her current tennis head coach, Nikki Goldthreate.
This gave her more than a step up among other students her age.
Durden went on to compete in Bullfrog, a junior tournament under the United Southern Tennis Association.
As stated on the official website www.southern.usta.com, the BullFrog USTA Southern Designated events were initiated one of the requirements for endorsement into the National Championships, from the USTA Southern Section.
“In the south that’s like nationals. I played nationals, zonals and qualifiers,” Durden said.
Durden said the challenge of being homeschooled was an experience she wouldn’t have traded for the world.
“I enjoyed it. You have to be very disciplined to do it though,” she said.
This made it easy for Durden to transition into college life and collegiate tennis. From playing individually to playing for a college team, she said the experience is more enjoyable.
“I really like the team aspect of the whole thing,” Durden said.
For any college athlete, the school week can get pretty hectic when juggling practice, classes and everything in between.
“I get home at 10 p.m. on a good day and sometimes wake up at 6:45 a.m.,” Durden said.
“most work is computer based and not individual projects, so we all have to meet up.”
Durden said she usually has Saturdays off if she doesn’t have practice. She said those days were for practicing her other hobbies.
“Before I played college tennis, I was drawing. I used to really like drawing, but I don’t have time to do it anymore,” Durden said.
Durden remains positive in her endeavors, which shows through her dedication to her craft. It’s seen and felt by her teammates and coach. She said that her leadership skills have improved and some of the girls already look up to her.
“She’s a fighter,” teammate Vanessa McCall said.
“She doesn’t give up anything. Even if she’s down 1 to 6 match point, you’re going to have to beat her. I call her a hustler,” McCall said.
Goldthreate added that Durden’s leadership doesn’t stop at the tennis court.
“Kathline’s a great leader and role model, helping the girls become better [players] by pushing them on and off the court.”