COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Alberto Ramos
There was a time in Alberto Ramos’ life where he thought he had walked away from tennis for good, but something kept calling him back.
Ramos is grateful for the decisions he made that led him back to the game about 10 years ago following a stint helping his father and mother full-time in a soccer store in San Diego.
In February, Ramos was presented with the Eugene Jung Multicultural Award at the SCTA Meetings for his work teaching tennis in a low-income area near his home in Chula Vista. Ramos has also made winners out of both the boys’ and girls’ Eastlake High School tennis teams as the girls’ won a CIF title in 2014 and the boys’ team did the same in 2016.
“When they told me I was going to get the award I was a little surprised,” said Ramos, 53, who was nominated for the award by San Diego TSR Karen Ronney. “It is a great honor and we’ve been able to develop some good solid players, and some that went on to play tennis in college.”
Ramos has quite an interesting and extensive background in tennis. Born in Mexico City, Ramos was a top-rated junior player who had the opportunity to move with his family to Marina Del Rey when he was 12 years old. Three years later, the family relocated to San Diego, where Ramos was taught by Angel Lopez and from ages 16 to 19 worked with the legendary Pancho Segura.
He then turned pro and then set off for Europe along with his brother and the two played for a club team in Paris, France, for 10 years and then another two years in Germany near Munich.
“They give us an apartment and a car, and it was a great life,” Ramos said. “It was small but at least we had a place to stay, and all we had to do was commit to playing for the league season.”
Ramos continued: “After 10 or 11 years, we decided to come back home. I was burned out and started working for my parents’ soccer store they owned.”
Ramos’ brother began working for the Barnes Tennis Center shortly after it opened, and got a call from him one day to come and help him teach some of the up and coming juniors. “He said he was starting to work with some really good players and some top juniors. Once I agreed to help him, I was back where I belonged, and I had to tell my parents that I was going back to tennis. It’s something I had done my entire life. It was hard, but something I had to do.”
After moving their program to Balboa Park at Morley Field, Ramos and his brother settled at Eastlake High because the school’s courts had lights.
“I’ve had people offer me jobs at country clubs, but I’m happy where I’m at now,” Ramos said. “I want to just keep training and developing players. It’s very tough to make it on the professional level, but you can go to college and you never know what’s going to happen.”