From China to Chi-Town, Mal Coleman is having quite the tennis experience

By Dick Johnson
Enchantment Sports Staff Writer

Malachi Coleman is a breath of fresh air.

Coleman, only 19, who has already experienced the Challenger pro tennis circuit, recently expanded his life adventure in China for three weeks.

“Mal” is a graduate of the Albuquerque Academy (Class of 2017), and was the dominant high school player in 2016 and 2017.  He went undefeated and led the Chargers to two of their many state championships.

This month, Coleman started attending the University of Chicago, which perennially is one of the top D3 men’s tennis teams in the nation.  Mal and his new teammates are all freshman! He is undecided for his degree, but is potentially leaning towards engineering or physics.

Coleman recently interned for three weeks with acclaimed tennis pro, Doug MacCurdy, in China with the latter’s tennis development company, Love Sports.  Doug is the former USTA Director of Junior Competition in the 90’s.

Doug is a graduate of UNM and played on some of the great Lobos teams in the 70’s. He has been all over the world has been a true ambassador for tennis coaches.

Malachi assisted with Doug’s tennis camps in Shanghai with kids aged 7-to-12 years old.  Love Sports provided 3 local pros to assist them.

Dick Johnson
Dick Johnson

The fascinating aspect of the camp was that many of the youngsters also knew some English, and how social and expressive the children were.

“The Little Chinese tennis students were chatty and very energetic and some knew pretty good English,” Coleman said.

Malachi was able to go into the historic district on his days off and soon found out that there was an app on their phones called “We Chat”, and that everything could be accomplished on that app.  Texting, calling, making bill payments, checking their bank accounts are some of the features on “We Chat.”  Mal and Doug even found some time to win the Coaches Tournament!

Dick Johnson is the longtime coaching legend of the La Cueva boys tennis teams and one of the most well-known names in New Mexico coaching circles. To contact Dick with tips, story ideas or tidbits, email him at

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