7,840 miles.

For the many students who have the luxury of making easy trips
to their homes in Bloomfield Hills or Grand Rapids, living this far
away from Ann Arbor might be unfathomable. But this extraordinary
distance separates freshman Brian Hung from his hometown. He
traveled from his native Hong Kong to Ann Arbor to become a member
of the Michigan tennis team.

Initially, the transition wasn’t easy for the 18-year-old.
Living in a new environment is difficult enough for most college
freshmen. Moving to a different continent just added to the
stress.

“It was definitely tough,” Hung said. “But all
the guys on the team helped me out.”

As a high school student, Hung was one of the premier players in
Hong Kong, climbing as high as third in the nation’s
men’s rankings. He qualified for the finals of the 2001 World
Youth Cup, and he has been a member of the Hong Kong Davis Cup team
for the past two years. So how did this prolific figure in Hong
Kong tennis end up smacking forehands for the Wolverines?

“He contacted me first, a while ago,” coach Mark
Mees said. “He’s got a brother who is a student at
Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, and his grandparents live down in
Florida. So they were aware of the University of
Michigan.”

Despite the difficulties of adjusting to his new home, Hung
immediately made a splash on the tennis court, amassing a 7-4
singles record during the fall season. Since then, Hung has
developed into a serious contributor for the Wolverines, settling
into the No. 3 singles spot (7-2 at that position) and teaming with
senior Anthony Jackson at No. 1 doubles (7-5).

This early success comes as no major surprise to his coach.

“I saw that he’s an outstanding tennis player and a
very good student,” Mees said. “(Brian’s) the
kind of young man we’re looking to build our program
around.”

Like many other Michigan students, Hung hopes to enroll in the
Business School, and he listed academics as one of the main reasons
that Michigan stood out from the pack. And while he might not be
able to use his hand to indicate his hometown, Hung has found time
to return home to Hong Kong.

“I actually went home twice during the fall,” Hung
said. “It’s an 18-hour flight — you get used to
it.”

Hung and the Wolverines (0-2 Big Ten, 8-4 overall) look to kick
a three-match losing streak today against Michigan State. The match
will start at 6 p.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center.

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