Home Sweet Home: Scottsdale’s Nathan Ponwith Finding Success At ASU

Photos courtesy: Will Edmonds/Sun Devil Athletics

Story by Brandon Bonaparte
 
In 2020 and 2021, Nathan Ponwith will likely achieve two milestones in back-to-back years.

In 2020, the ASU men’s tennis player graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Organizational Leadership Project Management.

“My biggest academic achievement would honestly be graduating,” Ponwith said. “Getting that done and out of the way is a huge milestone.”

After one last season at ASU as a graduate athlete, Ponwith looks to play professional tennis, something he’s been planning on since he first was introduced to the sport.

“I’ve been planning on playing pro my whole life since I picked up a racket,” he said.

While some may look at a college degree and playing professional tennis as two completely different entities, Ponwith is able to mesh them together, with one achievement complementing the other.

“The more knowledge you have, the more it can manifest in a lot of different ways in life,” said Ponwith. “[Tennis] is a sport, it’s an art, it’s a lot of thinking, learning and growing, and that’s exactly what ASU has provided me academically.”

According to tennisrecruiting.net, coming out of high school, Ponwith was No. 1 in the class of 2016. After being dismissed from the tennis team at The University of Georgia, Ponwith transferred to Arizona State, landing him back near his hometown of Scottsdale. 

Now a graduate of ASU heading into his last collegiate season, Ponwith appreciates being close to his home roots.

“It’s the feeling of being home,” he said. “I’m from here, I’ve lived in Arizona my whole life. Personally, it’s become a place like home for me.”

To get where he is today, so close to professional tennis and the end of his college career, Ponwith has battled injuries as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. In the end, he simply remains thankful.

“With all the things going on in the world right now, it’s a big blessing that I can be at ASU and compete in college tennis,” Ponwith said.