Name: Aramish Farooq
School: Mt. Diablo High School
CONCORD, CA (June 17, 2022) — Farooq has a story unlike any other among the Pioneer Athlete Spotlights we’ve done over nearly 20 years.
He was part of the Mt. Diablo boys tennis program for four years. He began his freshman year at Concord’s oldest school just a few years after his family immigrated to the United States from Pakistan.
“One of the challenges I went through was getting used to the American culture and the English language. I came to America with little knowledge of its culture and I had a hard time explaining things in English to friends and teachers. Over time by talking to friends and family in English, I could see improvement and now I am comfortable communicating.”
The important things
The family first lived with relatives and then got their own apartment in Merced, struggling as his father went without a job for nearly two years, exhausting his life savings to keep the family housed and fed. A job opportunity brought them to the Bay Area. “An up I went through is meeting new friends coming to the Bay Area that will be one of the most important things in my life. The down moment would be when I lost some of my friends due to different things we wanted to achieve,” Farooq explained.
He missed part of this senior tennis season when he visited family in Pakistan. New MDHS tennis coach Jimmy Huang said, “When I first met Aramish, I couldn’t see his face. He was very tall, quiet and unassuming. As I got to know him, I found out he was the hardest worker on the tennis court. He was quick to learn anything that was thrown at him. We quickly learned he was the leader amongst his friends and it was a ‘no brainer’ to make him a captain. I’ve only had the pleasure of coaching him for a few months, but I quickly found out what a fierce competitor he was. With that competitive mindset, I know that he will succeed in whatever he puts his mind to.”
Enjoying every moment
Farooq says, “Outside of school, I would go out and play basketball and football with my friends. It wasn’t a club but just for fun. I enjoyed every moment of my four years at Mt. Diablo. Even though I hated the conditioning [for tennis], friends made it fun and coaches provided snacks to keep us energized. I personally enjoyed the competition we had between our friends and we all wanted to be the best versions of ourself.” He plans “to study computer science in college just like my brother. I have always been into computers and I would like to make that into a career and hope for the best.”
The Pioneer congratulates Aramish and thanks Athlete Spotlight sponsors Dr. Laura Lacey & Dr. Christopher Ruzicka who have been serving the Clayton and Concord area for over three decades at Family Vision Care Optometry.
Do you know a young athlete who should be recognized? Perhaps he or she has shown exceptional sportsmanship, remarkable improvement or great heart for the sport. Email us your nomination for the Pioneer Athlete Spotlight today.