Between study and sport, Filippo Ercole’s “American dream”


“You play tennis for many reasons, not just to become champions. Or at least, while looking for the path of professionalism, one can try to use sport as a key to open the doors of other cultures. And what better land, for a tennis-based migration, than the United States of America? “ So wrote the journalist Cristian Sonzogni a few years ago in the “Gazzetta dello Sport”.

There are many Italian boys who are studying in American colleges, but who in leaving have not forgotten to put their racket in their luggage. Someone dreams of following in the footsteps of Davide Sanguinetti (ex blue number 1, capable of reaching the quarterfinals in Wimbledon in 1998) who started from the “stars and stripes” universities to break through internationally. Still others dream of becoming someone outside of sport.

Like the Emilian Corrado Degl’Incerti Tocci, 32 years old in these days and a degree obtained in 2012 at Virginia Tech. Corrado, now an aerospace engineer, in light of his personal experience, created the StAR Agency in Reggio Emilia. International. “Our mission is to assist all those Italian boys who at the end of the high school, as had happened to me, must make one of the most important decisions of their life. Continue to play sport at a good level or dedicate yourself to university studies ”.

A reason for reflection made last year by Filippo Ercole from Asti, born in 2002, after meeting Degl’Incerti at a tournament organized in Milan, which – reserved for young tennis players of the 2nd and 3rd category – enjoyed the careful look a good number of American College coaches.
“I had just finished the 4th year at the” F. Vercelli “high school in Asti – remembers Filippo – and I was presented with the opportunity, going to study in the United States, to live an educational experience with a double value … to obtain a degree of absolute value and continue to practice my favorite sport, tennis, at a high level. All of this by taking advantage of the academic / sports scholarships that American universities provide for thousands of children every year ”.

Thus began the “American dream” of a boy from Asti who, before devoting himself to tennis, had practiced motocross (at 5 years), football (from 9 to 14 years wearing the shirts of Asti and Colline Alfieri in the youth categories) and skiing. From the age of 14, the choice to play exclusively tennis (the beginnings in 2011), registered for the Circle of the “Ancient Walls”, with the technical guide the master Paolo Verney.
In August 2019 he decided to anticipate the times and give up the Italian Diploma to continue his studies (in practice repeat the 4th year, the last of the “Higher” in the States) in an American “Prep boarding school”, or a High School College specific for university preparation with the achievement of the Diploma in the States. Destination the Kiski high school in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, about 50 km from the capital Pittsburgh.

The only Italian among the 200 students of about twenty of different nationalities, all united by the desire to combine study and sport. With the possibility to choose the preferred sporting discipline between American football, soccer, basketball and … obviously tennis. With a double daily commitment.
“In the morning and in the early afternoon after the lunch break, school lessons were scheduled, then from 16.00 space for sports training in preparation for the student tournaments which unfortunately were interrupted with the pandemic at the beginning of March. And the consequent immediate return to Italy and the continuation of online schooling “.

Filippo, captain of the Kisky School tennis training, in recent days has graduated with excellent academic assessments, which combined with the improved tennis qualities (in Italy he was a 3rd category), have allowed him to receive academic proposals from some prestigious American universities, with scholarships that go as far as to cover 50% of enrollment costs.
“Also this time important were the advice and support in the management of the bureaucratic details of Corrado Degl’Incerti with whom, together with my family, I shared the decision to accept the offer from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina, whose tennis team, of which I will be part, is among the top ten in the States in the NCCA Div. II National Championship, with the aim of the national final four “.

After the Prep boarding school in Pennsylvania, the College in North Carolina. Covid19 permitting, Filippo Ercole will return to the United States in late August to continue his “American dream”. In 4 years the primary objective of the Degree in Business and Marketing, with a professional and sporting future still to be written.

Filippo Hercules

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