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Degabriele returns from injury as UNCW aim for fourth consecutive CAA title

Maltese tennis player Alex Degabriele.

Amidst the final preparations for the culmination of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference season, a return is on the cards for Maltese tennis player Alex Degabriele. The Maltese tennis prodigy’s return to the court after overcoming a lingering injury has injected fresh vigour into University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW)’s pursuit of sporting glory, as they aim to secure their fourth consecutive CAA title.

Since relocating to North Carolina in 2022 through a tennis programme facilitated by the Malta Sports Scholarships Scheme within the Ministry of Education, Degabriele has been an indispensable asset to the UNCW tennis setup while simultaneously pursuing a degree in Business Administration.

His impact was keenly felt in the 2023 CAA Championship, where his stellar performances, boasting an impressive 11-5 record in singles and 11-7 in doubles, played a pivotal role in UNCW’s success. However, a shoulder injury threatened to derail his aspirations, relegating him to the sidelines for an extended period.

Despite the setback, Degabriele’s resolve remained unshaken. With the unwavering support of his college and the diligent efforts of the coaching and medical staff, he embarked on a rigorous rehabilitation programme, determined to reclaim his place on the court. His return symbolises not just a personal triumph but also a resurgence of UNCW’s championship ambitions.

“The past months have been very challenging for me,” admitted Degabriele.

“Nursing a shoulder injury for all this time and not being able to compete with my team was not an ideal situation. However, I have found unwavering support from my college, especially the coaching and medical staff who have done a great job to bring me back to fitness.

“I would also like to thank the Malta Sports Scholarships Scheme at the Ministry of Education for supporting my tenure here in the USA. Their invaluable support has made it possible for me to experience college tennis at the highest level,” he said.

Beyond collegiate tennis, Degabriele’s ambitions extend to the global stage. Following the conclusion of the CAA season, he will embark on a journey that includes engagements in Europe’s tennis circuits with his Italian team Mediterraneo CT in the Italian Serie B, and international competitions such as the Davis Cup, representing the Malta Tennis Federation. Before returning to the USA in August, Degabriele will also be participating in the Pro ITF Circuit, with scheduled matches in Tunisia and Belgium, over the summer months.

Degabriele’s journey to sporting prominence traces back to his formative years, marked by an intensive training programme in Sicily, Italy, supported by the Malta Sports Scholarships Scheme.

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