Team USA’s top prospects are being primed in the third annual US Squash Academy, an intensive two-weeks of multi-layered training at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Academy provides an opportunity for current U.S. collegiate athletes and recent graduates to take part in a professional training environment. Through exposure to the U.S. National Coaching staff, the athletes are more prepared should they choose to successfully pursue the Elite Athlete Program (EAP) upon graduation.
The Academy also incorporates two separate one-week squads for junior Team USA players, ages Under 11, Under 13, Under 15 and Under 17. The U11 and U13 age groups take place across the first week, July 15-20, and the U15 and U17 during the second week, July 22-27. Training includes technical sessions and match play on court, and classroom sessions off court for all age groups.
Academy coaching staff includes Director of College Athletes Gilly Lane, the Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach Paul Assaiante, and Junior National Coaches Henry Clutsam, Alicia Rodriguez, Sujat Barua, Luke Butterworth, Lee Scott and Chris Longman. Former world No. 24 and nine-time national champion Julian Illingworth joins the coaching staff for the first time this summer.
“The Academy gives the college players a taste of what training might look like, day in and day out, as a professional,” Illingworth said. “The two weeks together gives them some continuity and team atmosphere that they otherwise might not get. It bridges their individual aspirations with Team USA and the support system US Squash has built over the past few years between the Academy and Elite Athlete Program. We’re trying to show them how being a squash professional can be a viable career choice, and that we’re here to help.”
The older age group includes four current college players and two graduating seniors: Olivia Fiechter (Princeton, 22), Alvin Heumann (Dartmouth, 22), Timmy Brownell (Harvard, 21), Spencer Lovejoy (Yale, 21), Mariam Kamal (Drexel, 20) and Cole Becker (Princeton, 20). Current EAP players will join the six college players during the second week of the Academy.
“I’ve been very impressed with the high level of play with this group at their age,” Illingworth said. “They all have an opportunity and the potential, so that if they make the jump to the professional level, they can be successful.”
Read more about the inaugural US Squash Academy here.