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Ben Hadden

Table Tennis

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Ben was born in Pensacola, Florida on Aug. 30, 1994. He played many sports along the way including soccer and volleyball. After watching the movie, “Balls of Fury”, Ben became very interested in table tennis.  He began looking up videos of Table Tennis on YouTube in order to get some playing tips.

He began his career by playing against his brothers and sisters and won repeatedly. His mom worked at Wright State University and she noted that many students played table tennis in the commons area. She suggested that he play there, but to be careful not to get kicked out since he was in Jr. High and this was a college.

Playing table tennis at Wright State University was a huge turning point in his career. He met many new friends who shared the same table tennis passion he shared. However, there was one person who befriended Ben and they spent a lot of time practicing together. Ben desperately needed a coach, but  could not afford one. So Ben continued watching YouTube videos on the computer and practiced new skills daily. His skills soared to newer heights each day!             

The Burkhardt Center hosted a table tennis club which attracted higher rated players than Wright State University. Ben joined this club in 2006 at age 12. It was here he met Chung Hong and Don Hamilton. Chung and Don taught Ben how to keep the ball low with spin and speed along with many other skills. They wouldpoint out all of Ben’s improvements. Sadly, the club closed after one year due to funding.           

In 2008, Ben went to the Lowry Center for table tennis on club nights. Don and Chung continued to teach Ben important skills. At 14, Ben went to his first tournament in Northern, KY and received his first USATT rating of 1381.  The Lowry Center closed a year later, but the club started meeting at South Metro Sports. Ben went there and began meeting new people. Lately, small crowds have even started watching them play. Today, Ben still frequents the club at South Metro Sports, but competes on the USA National Team against the best in the world. He is the highest rated class 11 Table Tennis player in both North and South America!

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