Deming signs tennis letter of intent with University of Kansas

Tennis player Julia Deming signs her letter of intent to attend the University of Kansas during a signing party at her home, Nov. 8.

Julia Deming signed a letter of intent to play college tennis at the University of Kansas.

The Oasis High School senior signed the letter of intent Nov. 8 at her Fallbrook home.

“It was really nerve-wracking and exciting,” said Deming of signing her collegiate letter of intent.

Deming was also considering the University of Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University. She visited both of those schools along with the University of Kansas in November 2016.

The University of Kansas is located in Lawrence, Kansas.

“Right when I got there I absolutely loved the area and the campus,” Deming said.

The Jayhawks head coach Todd Chapman and assistant coach Caroline Lilley emphasized success but not at the expense of the student-athletes’ best interests, Deming said.

“I could tell they pushed the team, yet they still were enjoying it,” Deming said. “I really liked that aspect.”

University of Kansas also has the sports medicine major Deming desires.

“Everything just kind of fell into place,” she said. “It definitely checked off all the boxes.”

The sports medicine major would allow Deming an athletic career if she does not become a professional tennis player.

“I think it would be really cool to be a college coach,” she said. “It would also be cool to be an athletic trainer.”

Deming is a lifelong Fallbrook resident who spent kindergarten through third grade at Frazier Elementary School and returned to Frazier for her fifth-grade and sixth-grade years after attending La Paloma Elementary School in the fourth grade. She was homeschooled for her middle school years and now is an Oasis High School student. Her parents were both raised in Glendora but were not high school athletes.

“They started playing tennis, but that was after my brother and I got involved,” Deming said. “They just play it more for the exercise.”

Derek Deming graduated from Fallbrook High School in 2014 and is now 21; he attends Concordia University in Irvine but does not play tennis there. Emily Deming is 10 years old and began her tennis career at the age of three.

Tennis player Julia Deming prepares for a national tournament at Pala Mesa training center.

“She just kind of grew up on the court watching me,” Julia Deming said.

Deming was 10 when she began taking tennis lessons and played in her first tournament approximately six months later. A 2010 summer camp at the Fallbrook Community Center introduced her to tennis.

“That was only a week long, but after that I really liked it,” Deming said. “I just kept practicing.”

Deming took lessons at the Pala Mesa tennis club with coach Mark Littrell.

Shortly after she completed sixth grade, Deming teamed with her brother to win the Mixed 16 Doubles division of the 27th annual Fallbrook Junior Open tournament in July 2012.

The CIF San Diego Section has a “Multi-School Teams Status” policy which allows athletes from certain schools to play for a specified other team. An independent study or other specialized school, other than a continuation school, affiliated with a comprehensive public school may lead to unified status for the comprehensive and alternative schools. Oasis High School students can compete for Fallbrook High School teams, but Deming chose not to play CIF tennis.

“I just stuck with USTA tournaments,” she said.

The United States Tennis Association national rankings for Girls’ Class of 2018 had Deming ranked 36th. The Southern California Tennis Association’s Girls 18 rankings designate Deming fifth among singles players and first among doubles players.

Deming considers the highlight of her youth tennis career to be when she and Rena Lin of Northridge took third place in the Girls 16 Doubles division of the August 2016 USTA National Championships tournament in San Diego.

“It was just a really good experience,” Deming said. “Getting third was a huge accomplishment.”

Because she never played high school tennis, Deming has played only from an individual standpoint and not as part of a team, so her University of Kansas competition will be her team play debut.

“I’m ready to start a new chapter of my life,” Deming said. “It’s going to be a great experience.”

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