Even more memorable than the five NCAA tournament trips or all the wins at Atkins Tennis Center were two life-altering events that Sujay Lama witnessed a mile and change away.
“Both my kids — Priya 19, and Siddhartha, 14 — were born in Carle hospital,” says Lama, Illinois’ women’s tennis coach from 1999-2006.
“I remember vividly the Lamaze classes — met Bob and Julie Asmussen there — and having a good laugh learning to change diapers and to deal with our wives’ contractions.
“Above all, we will never forget the wonderful Midwest hospitality and care we received from the doctors and nurses at Carle hospital. We are forever thankful for their help in delivering two healthy and happy babies.”
A second spot he misses since relocating to Denton, Texas, where he’s become the University of North Texas’ all-time winningest women’s tennis coach: Allerton Park.
“The walks we used to take in Allerton in the fall season were most amazing, with the glorious changing of colors,” he says. “This was a place I truly found peace and serenity.”