Kuhar, Bryant’s tennis star, nationally ranked
Bryant University's Matt Kuhar is a two-time Northeast Conference Player of the Year.
The Smithfield native wrapped up his junior season at 121 in the top 125 national rankings, becoming the first bulldog to ever get ranked.
"It's an honor,” Kuhar said. “There’s been a lot of guys before me that have come really close and basically, it’s for them. It’s for all the past bulldogs that tried and haven't made it and I’m glad to be a part of such a large group of highly-ranked individuals."
For Kuhar, it’s all a dream come true, considering he grew up in Smithfield and went to high school just a couple miles away. There, he won three state titles.
Now, he is doing the same thing on the courts at Bryant.
"Yeah, it’s awesome,” Kuhar said. “I love Smithfield. Rhode Island is a great state and I really never want to leave ever. My whole family is here. Everyone comes to watch my matches (and we have) great practices with the guys here. I’ve been here my whole life. I’m just so used to it and it’s such a great town."
Kuhar plans to go pro after his senior year, but last summer he was a practice partner at the International Tennis Hall of Fame Tournament. He said that experience will help him going forward.
"Yeah, I’ve played with some of the best guys in the world. John Isner is one of the best American tennis players that’s ever played,” Kuhar said. “(It’s a) great experience for me. Yeah, those guys are really good and I obviously can hang, but I still have a lot of work to do obviously, and just looking forward to see how much more my game can improve."
Kuhar will continue to play in some semi-pro tournaments throughout the summer as he prepares for his senior season.