City Times

Teen player on top of her game

Freshman  Palia Griffin  leads her tennis team. Photo Credit: Michael Markulin.

Freshman Palia Griffin leads her tennis team. Photo Credit: Michael Markulin.

Michael Markulin

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This is Palia Griffin’s first year at City College and she’s already the Lady Knights top singles and doubles tennis player at the age of 19.

Given her family background, that’s not surprising.

Growing up in the North Park area, Griffin attended San Diego High School and practiced tennis at the Balboa Tennis Club.

“You can say my second home was the Balboa Tennis Club,” Griffin told City Times.

Griffin’s entire family is dedicated to the sport. Her father and uncle both coach tennis, while her mom works as a stringer at the tennis club.

Recently, Griffin and her family competed in a national competition for the United States Tennis Association’s Family of the Year Award. They ended up taking home the trophy for 2016.

Griffin was always expected to play tennis, but didn’t start playing competitively until high school. She also coaches a juniors team at the tennis club.

Griffin’s interests extend beyond tennis; she also finds happiness in art.

“I’ve been drawing since I was little, but it kind of grew because I love to draw horses,” she said.

She dreams of having a horse and living in the country some day.

Griffin is using her time at City College to figure out what her next step along her journey will be.

Griffin’s said her father, Chaz, is her inspiration.

“School never worked out for him and he dropped out but that did not stop him from achieving so much. When he wants something he does it,” said Griffin.

She hopes to find that same drive.

She said that her mother, Sunya, who is from Thailand, has given her a well-rounded perspective on life.

Jamie Jones, Palia’s head coach for the Lady Knights, raves about her number one player.

“Palia has a great game and has all of the shots. I hope she will be a qualifier for regionals this year, but most of all she is a great girl. Super sweet and works hard.”

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Teen player on top of her game