Caroline Price has a familiar last name – and a much different game – compared to her famous father, Mark Price.
Mark Price was a former NBA all-star who recently became the head coach of the Charlotte 49ers.
His daughter Caroline just finished a four-year, All-American tennis career at North Carolina where she won 128 singles matches – the second-most wins in Tar Heel history. She finished her senior season ranked No. 26 in the country in singles.
Caroline Price now plans to give the pros a try. She has earned a wild card into her first tennis tournament as a professional – the Mr. Rogers Windows Charlotte Clay Classic, which begins Tuesday at the Charlotte Indoor Tennis Club.
The tournament is a lower-level USTA pro tournament featuring a total of $10,000 in prize money and a field comprised mostly of teenaged and college players hoping to become the next Serena Williams. Play continues through Sunday. Admission is free.
Five questions with Caroline Price:
Q. What was it like growing up as Mark Price’s daughter?
A. Luckily for us as a family and luckily for my dad, he doesn’t look like your typical NBA player. He’s my height – we are both 5-11. Honestly it’s very rare that people actually recognize him. I grew up mostly in Atlanta, and he got recognized less there than he did when he would come visit me at North Carolina – I guess because Chapel Hill is such ACC basketball country.
My dad is very laid back. You wouldn’t ever know by talking to him that he was an NBA all-star. I look up to him so much. For him to be so good and so humble, he is my hero.
Q. How did you get started playing tennis?
A. I grew up mostly in Atlanta, which has a big tennis community. The neighborhood courts were right by our house, so my mom and dad started playing in a local league after he retired from basketball. I wanted to be just like my older sister Brittany, who was playing on a kids tennis team. I was the ball girl because I wasn’t old enough yet, and then when I was old enough I started playing and never stopped.
Q. What style of tennis do you play?
A. I’m tall and I’m a lefty, so I try to use those advantages. My game kind of revolves around my serve and my forehand. I like to be more on offense and less on defense, because I’m not the fastest girl in the world. I go for it.
Q. How many siblings do you have?
A. There are four of us altogether. I’m second-oldest and I’m 22. Brittany, the oldest, is 24 and she works at Georgia Tech now. Her husband is an organic farmer in Atlanta. My brother Hudson is 20 and plays basketball at TCU. My 16-year-old brother, Josh, goes to Charlotte Christian.
Q. How old were you when you beat your father in tennis for the first time?
A. I think I was 13 or 14. And he hasn’t played me since.