Incoming recruits Tyler Bowers, Oliver Okonkwo, Kenta Miyoshi look to bolster Illinois men’s tennis


Sidney Malone

The Illinois men’s tennis team cheers on from the sides of the courts during matches against Baylor at Atkins Tennis Center on March 4. The team has recruited Tyler Bowers from William and Reed Academy, Kenya Miyoshi from MITA International School in Japan and Oliver Okonkwo who transferred from Iowa.

By Martin O'Connor, Contributing Writer

After a mediocre season finishing 14-14 the Illinois men’s tennis team looks to add beneficial recruits in hopes of having a more successful season next year.

So far the team has two recruits looking to bring that improvement the team is currently looking for. They had the number 6 ranked recruiting class in 2021 and find themselves with an unranked recruiting class this year.

Incoming freshman Tyler Bowers is a 4-star recruit from William and Reed Academy. He comes into Illinois as the 76th ranked recruit nationally for men’s tennis and the 4th ranked recruit in Illinois, as he hails from Bloomington, Illinois. In addition, Bowers hoisted the 2019 IHSA team trophy and doubles trophy in his freshman season. He looks to be a positive addition to the team that holds a lot of potential.

International recruit Kenta Miyoshi is unranked, and comes from MITA International School in Japan. He joins the Illini team with a career record of 48 wins and 21 losses. In juniors, Miyoshi was an All-Japan champion for U-15s, and came runner up for the All-Japan U-18 competition later. Miyoshi also has a lot of potential that he will hopefully capitalize on as a part of the Illini.

The final recruit for Illinois is a major addition to the program, as senior transfer Oliver Okonkwo from Berkshire, U.K., joins for 2022. Okonkwo joins after three seasons with the Iowa Hawkeyes, reaching a No. 2 ranking in doubles in the 2021 spring season. After losing seven players in just two seasons, Okonkwo will help bolster the Illini’s veteran presence on the court.

The Illini finished this previous season with a .500 record, leaving the program with an unusually poor year. The team will hope their recruits reach their full potential along with the 2021 recruits as they await looking forward to a brighter future.


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