Three brothers rule three levels of Utah youth tennis

Cameron Smith

Plenty of schools boast talented family lines that have helped them win titles. Yet few families possess the overwhelming dominance of the Kempin brothers, a Utah triumvirate who are all ranked as the top tennis player of his respective age group in the state.

Utah tennis phenoms the Kempin brothers
Utah tennis phenoms the Kempin brothers

As chronicled by the Salt Lake Tribune, 15-year-old Brendon Kempin and his two younger brothers, 13-year-old Ryan and 12-year-old Conner, are all virtually unbeatable with a tennis racket. While only Brendon has completed a high school season -- he finished as the runner-up in Class 3A in 2010 as a freshman -- all three are expected to contribute for Juan Diego (Utah) High's fiercely competitive program in future years.

The fact that the Kempin brothers are all staying in state for their high school years is a significant development in itself. Most young tennis prodigies with the Kempins' skills would seriously consider leaving traditional schools for a future at a tennis academy like the one run by Nick Bollettieri in Florida, or the New York-based club at which John McEnroe has begun to tutor young star pupils.

That's not the case with the Kempins, in large part because their parents are much happier with the family traveling across the Rocky Mountain region as a pack of psuedo-nomadic tennis prodigies than split up their pack too early.

"We've decided not to interrupt the golden years," Kevin Kempin, the boys' father, told the Tribune. "We take them to camps in California and tournaments all over, but at the end of the day we want them here to be together as a family."

While that sentiment seems to please Kempin's sons, it may not be a comforting note for other programs in Utah that will have to find a way to beat at least two Kempins at a time in future years.

That threat will get even more pressing if the brothers keep learning from each other, the way they are now.

"I love competing and just knowing I'm getting better," Ryan Kempin told the Tribune. "Brendon has taught me not to leave the ball short and to just try and be consistent."

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