When Greens Farms Academy senior — and tennis standout — Connor McDonald was initially looking at his college options, Boston College was never really off the table, but weather was a factor.
“My original thought process was I wanted to go somewhere warm, maybe go down south,” McDonald said. “That was my ideal scenario.”
However, perhaps it was destiny that led McDonald to BC — the same school his mother and grandmother both attended. Earlier this fall, McDonald, the top singles player in the GFA program, verbally committed to play tennis at Boston College in the highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference.
“BC was always on my radar and it’s the appeal of ACC tennis and a good undergraduate business school, which is what I wanted,” he said. “I felt like I had the best relationship with the BC Coach compared to other coaches, too.”
Committing to college athletics has not been easy during the pandemic, as most students have not had the opportunity to play in tournaments or even meet their future coaches or teammates in person. But McDonald, a five-year varsity tennis player at GFA, had many options available to him as a four-star recruit — one of the top 200 players in the country, ranked second in Connecticut, and seventh in New England for his class.
McDonald said over the course of a series of phone conversations with Boston College’s head coach the two built a good rapport. The first time they spoke on the phone, they barely talked about tennis or Boston College.
“We talked for about 45 minutes and the first 30 minutes I don’t think we talked about tennis or recruiting,” McDonald. “That created a really good relationship.”
Unable to make any official visit because of COVID sanctions, McDonald visited the Boston College campus with a friend, and also met up with a professor who had gone to school with his mother.
“They showed me around campus and I just loved it,” he said. “The next day, I told them I was ready to commit.”
According to GFA Head Coach Paul Groves, "Throughout Connor's five-year career at GFA what stands out most is his ability to grit out points while playing with great passion. He has always been a source of energy for our team, and if we need a big win in a tough match we look to Connor first."
McDonald's goal for Boston College tennis is just to become the best player he can be.
“BC gives me a good opportunity to get a lot better,” he said. “I haven’t hit my peak yet so hopefully I can do it up there. I’m going to have to work hard just to get into the lineup. I don’t have any expectations. I just want to get as good as I can and make the lineup. Just fine-tune my game and keep improving.”
Beyond that, he hopes to springboard his degree into a career that could follow his father’s chosen path.
“I’ll wait and see what happens, but my dad worked on Wall Street and I think I want to go into a similar field,” he said.