Paddle Palace interviewed Jasna Rather, the Director of the Texas Wesleyan University Table Tennis Team.

1) What brought you to Texas Wesleyan University?

In summer of 2001 I happened to live in DFW area. Texas Wesleyan just started TT program and I was the first student in the program, because I was interested to take opportunity of getting a scholarship toward Master’s Degree. 

2) Who are some of Texas Wesleyan’s TT most famous alumni?

Mark Hazinski, Zhe Feng, Yahao Zhang, Eric Owens, Courtney Roberts, Carlos Chiu, Ines Perhoc, Shu Hazinski, Jose Barbosa, Claudia Ikeizumi, Emil Santos, Bruno Ventura, Caroline Kajihara, Anastasiia Rybka, Shuai Wang, Courtney Roberts, Edina Haracic, and many others. 

3) Can you tell us about this year’s team? (I can use head shots)

As in past, team has student-athletes from all over the world with variety of levels. Captain this year is Marcus Waerstad from Norway for the Co-Ed and Ana Aleksandric from Serbia on women’s team.

4) What has been the secret to Texas Wesleyan success over the years?

University is a strong supporter of table tennis program throughout 17 years of it’s existence. Program tries to give table tennis athletes opportunity to achieve their academic dreams. Some of athletes qualify for partial TT and academic scholarships. 

5) What has it meant to have Doru Gheorghe as coach at Texas Wesleyan?

Doru was a great addition to the program. Keith Evans and Doru worked well together in catering different needs of athletes during the practices. 

6) Do you also host USATT events at Texas Wesleyan? 

Table tennis program organized over the years table tennis sanctioned events as part of fund-raising for the team as well as opportunity for Wesleyan athletes to compete in more events. Wesleyan’s ball sponsor for events is Nittaku. Paddle Palace was a great support system over the years. 

7) What has the Tibhar relationship meant to Texas Wesleyan?

Tibhar was very generous to Texas Wesleyan program over these 17 years. Team is very lucky to have so much support from Tibhar.

8) How much does the team practice?

Team has available practice gym time 5 days a week. Table tennis is treated same as others Wesleyan sports, and receives same amount of gym time for training and events. 

9) What are goals for team this year?

To prepare well for Nationals so that athletes can perform their best in April. 

10) What is your most memorable team match or event?

There are so many memorable events but José Barbosa’s match against Mississippi College athlete Yang Yu would probably be one of the top few. 

11) If a player wanted to attend Texas Wesleyan, what steps should the take?

1. Fill out application and email to admission

2. Send transcripts either to domestic or international admission 

3. Complete English proficiency test for international students (TOEFL/IELTS/TLC test) 

4. SAT/ACT for domestic students 

International admission contact: 

Domestic admission online:  There are opportunities for academic and athletic scholarships.