American Heritage's Rasheeda McAdoo goes for back-to-back state titles this season
Sunday, February 03, 2013
by Jeff Greer
The Florida High School Athletic Association record book lists a mere 23 girls, among them Chris Evert, who have won more than one individual state title in tennis since the FHSAA began holding state championships in the sport in 1938.
Rasheeda McAdoo could add her name to that short list this season.
"I'd like to have that on my r�m� the American Heritage senior said.
McAdoo dominated her opponents last season en route to winning the Class 1A state title in singles, winning the championship match 6-1, 6-0, and then teamed with Mia Horvit to capture the doubles title.
McAdoo currently is ranked No. 5 in the nation on the Juniors circuit and has signed with Georgia Tech, where next year she will play for her former private coach Rodney Harmon. American Heritage coach Brian Schleifer, whose girls and boys teams have combined to win 15 state titles in his 15 years running the tennis program at the Delray Beach private school, said he believes that McAdoo has "great upside" and is physically stronger entering the 2013 season.
"She definitely has her dad's genes," Schleifer said of McAdoo, who is the daughter of former NBA star and current Miami Heat assistant coach Bob McAdoo. "She's starting to put on more muscle, which she's going to need at the level she's playing at now. And her footwork has improved."
McAdoo, who already has an impressive serve, said that she is "trying to copy Serena (Williams) and overpower opponents" by implementing an off-the-court fitness workout twice a week that includes agility drills, running and weight-lifting in an effort to strengthen her legs.
"Having a serve like hers is such a weapon, with her heavy topspin ball she hits, that kick, that action that she has is very difficult for someone to return," Schleifer said of McAdoo, who is 5-feet-11.
There's one aspect of her game, however, that Schleifer believes McAdoo still needs to work on to become an elite player.
"One of the things I felt she had to work on a little more is imposing her will out there (on the court), because as physically imposing as she can be, she still has a tendency at times to play a little defensive, hang too far back at the baseline," Schleifer said.
The most decorated girls player in American Heritage history is Whitney Benik, who won five individual titles (two singles, three doubles) from 2002-04. McAdoo, who did not compete in the postseason her sophomore year because of an injury, can't quite match that, but she has a chance to stamp her name among the top players in state history.
"If you get one of them in your coaching career, you consider yourself lucky, so I've been fortunate to have them both," Schleifer said.
American Heritage's Rasheeda McAdoo, the daughter of NBA legend Bob McAdoo, models her serve after Palm Beach Gardens resident Serena Williams.