TUSCALOOSA Alabama head tennis coach Billy Pate has announced the signing of the 2006 African Boy’s 18’s Champion Houssam Yassine.
Yassine, a native of Rabat, Morocco, will join the team in January and will round out the Crimson Tide’s roster that will feature nine returning players from last season’s NCAA tournament squad and two incoming freshmen.
"I am extremely excited that Houssam has made his commitment to Alabama,” Pate said. “He is an exceptionally gifted player as well as an outstanding person and student. He fits exactly what we were looking for in terms of a young player with great athleticism, experience and character.”
Pate is expecting Yassine, 2005 Moroccan National Champion, to step in and immediately impact the Tide’s singles line-up in 2007. His addition also makes Alabama one of the deepest teams in the Southeastern Conference.
“He will make an immediate impact on our team,” Pate said. “I expect him to be one of the top players in our conference very quickly. His desire and work ethic will allow him to flourish in our environment and I fully expect him to be a major impact in our conference and on the national level.”
In addition to winning the Moroccan national title and the 2006 African Championships, Yassine has reached as high as 54th in the International Tennis Federation rankings and is currently ranked 12th among adults and touring professionals in Morocco.
Yassine will also look to join the Tide’s long tradition of featuring impact players on its roster from the continent of Africa such as Stephen Mitchell (South Africa), Ellis Feirrera (South Africa), Clinton Feirrera (South Africa) and Rashid Houssan (Zimbabwe).