May 5, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University men's tennis student-athlete Eric Kochanski was honored recently as the April recipient of the Comcast Community All-Star Award.
The award, which is presented monthly during the academic year by Comcast, was introduced in January to spotlight the positive contributions that SCU student-athletes make in the local community. The Bronco women's basketball and women's golf teams and softball player Lacey Smale each earned the honor earlier in the year.
Comcast representatives Kesh Vallot and Michael Amico presented Kochanski with a plaque at the Gonzaga at Santa Clara baseball game on April 29, which was also the final SCU baseball game ever at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Kochanski, a senior from Canonsburg, Pa., regularly participates in a number of community-related activities, most notably serving as a mentor at the Sacred Heart Parish tutoring center. He also leads the men's tennis program in a number of team-oriented activities to serve as role models to youth in the community.
"I've really grown to love helping kids and I feel that I have had a positive impact on them," said Kochanski of his Sacred Heart experience. "I made several close relationships with the kids at Sacred Heart. They provided the volunteers with a dinner at the end of the quarter where we got to meet the students' parents and talk with them. It was very nice to hear how much the kids liked and appreciated us. Most of the kids were of underprivileged families so they were so excited everyday to see us walk through the door."
Kochanski, who transferred to Santa Clara from the University of West Virginia in the fall of 2003, established program records last season in doubles as the partner to Gernot Fischer. The tandem earned an ITA preseason national ranking of No. 49 and the No. 9 ranking in the West Region. He made program history by advancing to the ITA Regional doubles final with Fischer in Eugene, Ore., upsetting teams from Washington and Oregon to reach the championship match.
"Since transferring here two seasons ago, Eric has made a commitment to live the Santa Clara University experience," said head men's tennis coach George Husack. "Along with the many hours logged on the tennis courts, Eric's contribution to the community has proven to be invaluable not only for the kids he tutored but also himself. He's very deserving of this award and I'm proud of his accomplishments."