Moving to a new city is always hard for some people but for the Kellerman twins, moving to a new continent has been an exciting adventure.
Francois and Okkie Kellerman made their way from South Africa to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where they are both juniors majoring in communication. Their whole life their dream was to come to America and play college tennis, and they made that dream come true. They first began playing the sport back when they were nine years old.
“Coming to college in America was our main focus growing up,” Okkie Kellerman said. “Growing up back in South Africa everyone who played a sports; their dream was to play for a division one college university.”
Before becoming Islanders, Francois and Okkie began their journey in Tulsa, Oklahoma where they spent two seasons playing the game they love. Still determined to make it to a D-1 College, they practiced for two to four hours a day.
“When we played in Tulsa, it did not feel as if we were all a team,” Okkie said. “Everyone would really do their own thing, whereas coming to the Island University, the coaches really make us feel like a family and everyone gets along great.”
The love for tennis began when the twins were nearly nine years old and their father Okkie Kellerman showed them the roots. The twins grew up being very athletic, seeing as their father was also a tennis player and their mother was a gymnast.
“When my dad played tennis, he did have offers to come to the states and play for universities but instead he started working and didn’t really get to fulfill his dream,” Francois said. “That is somewhat of what pushed us to get out here and actually make it happen.”
Although coming to Corpus Christi was a little different than what they were use to, the twins said they were happy with the choice they made.
“Everything is really different compared to back home or other places we have been,” Francois said. “It is a very nice place, the weather is sometimes crazy but the people are very nice and our teammates are really great.”
Sophomore business management major William Monet said playing with the twins has been a lot of fun.
“Transferring to the Island University I was worried that the teammates would not be nice because of my previous experience,” Monet said. “But playing with the twins has been a lot of fun, and everyone is very nice, we all work well together.”
Francois and Okkie went undefeated in the Singles and Doubles at Southland individual Championships. Francois reached singles semifinal at the Islander Open and the twins both reached doubles at the Islander Open as partners.
The twins said they look forward to what the rest of their tennis career has in store for them at the Island University.