Nguyen blazing her own trail

Cindy Nguyen
Cindy Nguyen

Cindy Nguyen is the highest ranked tennis player in the Big West conference and the first University of Hawaii athlete to ever qualify for singles play in the NCAA tournament.

But if you dive beyond the stats, you'll find the charisma and eccentricity that has paved way for her success.

"When I found out I was going to the ncaa I was jumping for joy and running in circles." says Nguyen. "Just screaming in public. Like, oh my gosh, I'm going."

Expression has never been a weakness of Nguyen. Even if she never uttered a word, you'd be able to see her colorful array of head bands from a mile away.

"My headbands are my trade mark, I have a different one every single time" Nguyen says while sporting a multi-layered headband of red, white and sherbet-orange trim. "But, my dad told me that I have to be normal, but who wants to be normal when I can be myself?"

Nguyen is also not shy about revealing her hidden talent she developed early in life...juggling.

"That was my big accomplishment in middle school," she says laughing. "Juggling tennis balls. I was the cool kid. I don't juggle anything interesting like fire or rackets, just tennis balls."

But there's still time to learn how to juggle fire? I ask.

With a nearly straight face, Nguyen answers, "Yeah, I'm learning, I'm watching videos."

Her non-step energy off the court translates to success on it. Her 22-4 record in singles play earned her the #1spot on the Rainbows team as a freshman.

"There's no such thing as a goal too high. Obviously I was trying to set my goals for the season and I surpassed it."

Ngyuen's plan revolves around her familiarity against her competition, after all she's gone head to head with a few of them in college and in high school.

But... if all else fails...there's always plan-B.

"I'm actually really intimidating when I need to be. she says as she shoots a glare into our camera.

"But I can't just pull it out of nowhere. I have to think of something that makes me really mad." she says before breaking out into laughter.

Hey, maybe plan-A isn't so bad after all.

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