A Tale of Two Siblings and Their Journey to Excellence
By Charlie Gallegos
In this month’s sports section of McLeanLiving, we are thrilled highlight two siblings who share a passion for squash. Both have dedicated extensive time and effort to honing their skills in this sport. Introducing: Eric and Isabel Tang! Younger brother, Eric, is a sports enthusiast attend who attends Georgetown Day School. He has a deep passion for various athletic pursuits. Among his favorites are fencing, swimming, basketball, flag football, soccer, and hockey, but it’s safe to say that squash holds a special place in his heart. Eric has dedicated five years to honing his skills in squash, and he remains committed to putting in the effort to reach his ultimate aspiration: to become the top-ranked player in the United States and achieve success in the US Junior Open.
Eric finds great enjoyment in playing squash, describing it as both fun and competitive. He has gained valuable knowledge and skills from his coach, Nouran Mohamed, who instructs at The Play Squash Academy. Among the many valuable pieces of advice Nouran has shared with Eric, one that stands out is “Before a match, don’t run around the club”. Eric holds a particular quote dear to his heart and firmly upholds its truth: “It can take 5 years to make a reputation and it takes 5 minutes to ruin it.” During his free time outside of his many sports hobbies, Eric takes pleasure in engaging in the game of chess and savoring his favorite snack, Lay’s chips.
Eric has a profound admiration for his older sister, Isabel. Isabel Tang, a student at the National Cathedral School, will be graduating as part of the Class of 2028.
Isabel’s squash journey spans eight years, during which her unwavering dedication and relentless effort propelled her to the top spot in the United States for girls under 11. Continuously pushing her boundaries, she has now secured the number one position in the girls under 13 category. With her competitive nature as a driving force, Isabel has set ambitious goals for herself. In January, she participated in the World Junior Open under 13 and achieved an impressive 6th place globally.
Beyond her on-court achievements, Isabel is an exceptional teenager admired for her kindness, helpfulness, creativity, and laid-back personality. These qualities have made her an integral member of the US Squash Junior Team, granting her a sense of camaraderie and emphasizing the value of teamwork.
Isabel finds her passion for squash rooted in its combination of enjoyment and challenge. However, what truly makes the sport special to her is the way it strengthens and expands her network of friends with each competition and practice session. Coach Nouran also serves as Isabel’s mentor, and she consistently remembers the coach’s advice: “The game isn’t over until you step off the court; maintain focus throughout the entire match.”
To help maintain crucial focus and concentration on the court, Isabel listens to Taylor Swift’s songs before games. Additionally, she has a favorite pre-game ritual of styling her hair, as it helps alleviate nerves and set the right mindset. Looking ahead, Isabel aspires to play squash in college, and her determination is unwavering. She refuses to accept “no” as an answer and will go to great lengths to prove her point.
During her spare time, Isabel delights in drawing, crafting bracelets, knitting, reading, playing the violin, engaging in ping pong and chess matches, and snacking on bubble tea and Cheeto puffs. She is inspired by her favorite quote by Ayn Rand: “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me?”