Drew Friedman ‘21
Hamza Mian ‘21 plays for the boys’ varsity squash squad and is a dominant force as a leader and competitor on the team. He is one of the top players in the country, ranking tenth, only a few years ago. Hamza also competed in the U.S. Junior Open, a major tournament represented by countries all around the world, and made an extremely impressive run. His great sportsmanship and respect are not only displayed in his playing ability but also as a student who excels at Lawrenceville.
Drew Friedman: What motivated you to begin playing squash?
Hamza Mian: My dad had actually been playing since he was a kid, so when I was growing up I just remember he was very into it. I just started taking clinics at Princeton University and from there I began taking more private lessons and eventually I played more tournaments and got more competitive in the sport.
DF: As one of the leaders of the team, how would you describe the culture of the squash program here at Lawrenceville?
HM: This year I think the environment on the team is great. At every match we’re always supporting each other, cheering each other on, and I think the captains do a great job of motivating us and making sure we support each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re number one or number nine on the team no matter what we still have to make sure that every match matters.
DF: What are some of your personal accomplishments you have had in the past few years as a squash player?
HM: In boys under fifteen, before I aged up, I reached my highest ranking of ten in the country and currently I am hoping to get back to the top ten in under seventeen, and right now I’m ranked twenty fourth in boys under seventeen. Recently, I won a gold level tournament in New York and that was one of my biggest accomplishments and a great confidence booster.
DF: How do you think you’ve developed as a player over your Lawrenceville career?
HM: I would say since freshman year I have learned more about the team aspect of squash rather than the individual sport, especially because there were a lot of juniors and seniors on the team who really were my role models and they taught me how I should behave and act. When I became a sophomore, I had to be that role model for the incoming freshmen as well. Every year you take on more responsibility and learn more about setting an example for the kids because you want to make sure that the team maintains a healthy and stable environment even after you leave.
DF: How do you successfully juggle the demands/responsibilities of being both a student and an athlete?
HM: I would say the biggest thing with managing being a student athlete and playing competitively outside of school as well as keeping track of all your classes is staying on top of everything and remaining organized. It is very easy to not email your teachers in advance or forget an assignment which may impact your grade at the end of the term. As long your proactive with communication and you don't procrastinate with your work, it is manageable and you can do well at Lawrenceville.
DF: What advice would you give someone interested in joining the team?
HM: I would tell them that even if they have never played before, it’s a great idea to go tryout because most beginners who go recreationally and not competitively still end up loving it. There’s a lot you can learn and take away from the team regardless of any prior experience, and if you have played before we are always eager to have more experienced players especially on our varsity team. The team is extremely supportive and an extremely accepting environment.
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