Daughter of former NBA All-Star Mark Price making name for herself in tennis

Former NBA All-Star Mark Price says daughter Caroline is playing so well in junior tennis that he is considering taking the year off from coaching basketball just to watch her.

Price, who starred at Georgia Tech and played 13 seasons in the NBA, was a shooting consultant with the Hawks the past two seasons. However, Price was not retained when the team changed coaches from Mike Woodson to Larry Drew.

“I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do this fall … I’m still trying to figure that out,” Price said. “I’m still talking to some other [NBA] teams about possibly going to work with them.

“I’m also possibly thinking about taking a year off after the success my daughter has had with tennis, so I can travel with her some. There are a lot of options, so I’m not too stressed out about it.”

Caroline, 17, is one of the hottest names in junior tennis after winning the USTA Girls’ 18 Clay Court Championship last month in Memphis.  Price advanced from the No. 13 seed to form an all-metro Atlanta championship match, defeating No. 1 Whitney Kay of Alpharetta.

Former NBA All-Star Mark Price (right) and his daughter Caroline Price, who is one of Georgia's top high school seniors in tennis (Special photo)

Former NBA All-Star Mark Price (right) and his daughter Caroline Price, who is one of Georgia's top high school seniors in tennis (Special photo)

Winning the event has perks for Price. She earned a wild-card invitation to the main singles draw of the U.S. Open Juniors, starting Sept. 5 in in New York. on Sept. 5. She Price also qualified for a spot in February’s Cellular South Cup, the WTA event in Memphis, where Maria Sharapova will be the defending champion.

“It was one of the first tournaments in a while that I went out and I wanted to have fun, just because I enjoy playing tennis. And it took the pressure off,” Caroline Price said. “For some reason, I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself.

“I was thinking before [Clay Courts] that I began playing tennis because it was fun for me. So why should it be any different now? So I went out there and had fun … and it turned out really well.”

Caroline is one of Mark and wife Laura’s four children. Brittany, 20, is a rising sophomore at Baylor University and works part-time as a secretary in the men’s basketball office. Hudson, 15, is a 6-foot-5 sophomore basketball player who recently transferred from Marist to Wesleyan. Josh, 11, also is a promising basketball talent in hoops. The Prices reside in Duluth.

Caroline loves basketball as well and tried to follow in her father’s footsteps when she was younger.

“It was a little rough on me,” she said. “I was tall and lanky and would get hurt out there against the bigger girls. My dad decided that basketball maybe wasn’t the best for me.”

Caroline PriceDuluth's Caroline Price won the USTA Girls' 18 Clay Court Nationals (Special photo by Wilson Barbee)

Duluth's Caroline Price won the USTA Girls' 18 Clay Court Nationals (Special photo by Wilson Barbee)

By the seventh grade, she was traveling nearly year-round for both tennis and volleyball tournaments, along with balancing her schoolwork. It became a little stressful for Price, who was advised by her parents to choose one sport.

“I thought hard about both and tennis was the one sport I could not picture myself not doing,” she said.

The big turning point for Price’s career was sweeping the singles and doubles titles at the 2009 Easter Bowl in the Under-16 division in California. She began to attract attention from numerous colleges, including Georgia Tech, Georgia, USC, Vanderbilt and North Carolina.

At 5-11, the left-handed Price is nearly as tall as her father (6 feet). Her game has flourished as she developed consistency with her booming serve and steady forehand.

“Her first serve has definitely improved,” said Peachtree Ridge High’s Mary Jeremiah, a frequent opponent. “With her height, she is really able to get a lot of pop on the ball. And with that left-handed spin, it’s tough getting it back into the court in the first place, let alone to her backhand.”

Price, who is being home-schooled, says she is close to her father and benefits from his NBA experiences. At the Clay Courts, Price played against Catherine Harrison, a Memphis hometown favorite, in the semifinals.

“I remember hearing stories from my dad about playing on the road in some tough places … the whole crowd would be cheering against him but he used it as motivation to play better,” she said. “When the crowd was cheering for the other player in my match, I took what my dad told me to motivate me and didn’t get frustrated. That [mental approach] helped me a lot.”

Price says she leans on her father a lot for emotional support.

“Whenever I’m struggling with tennis, he always knows exactly what to say,” she said. “Whenever I do well, he knows what to say, too … because he has gone through it too. He is just great to talk with because he understands the situations.”

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19 comments Add your comment

Douglas

August 9th, 2010
1:34 pm

I hope she goes to UGA but I had to admit it, Ga. Tech has definitely turned their women’s tennis around.

POAD

August 9th, 2010
1:36 pm

Pretty Girl. Congrats Mark P on your beautiful family. you made 85 a fun year to watch TECH Basketball. Beating UNC 3 times in one year was so great. Blessings and Good Luck to all or your family.

collegeballfan

August 9th, 2010
1:59 pm

Nice article. The young lady obviously got her looks from her mom.

If she goes college she needs to pick the college, not her Dad.

Jacket Backer

August 9th, 2010
2:44 pm

She’ll be a Jacket!

GIVE ME A BREAK

August 9th, 2010
3:29 pm

JMB

August 9th, 2010
4:24 pm

Can GT please hire Mark Price to coach?

[...] Read this article: Daughter of former NBA All-Star MARK PRICE making name for herself … [...]

Go Jackets

August 9th, 2010
4:56 pm

There is zero chance that this young lady plays at UGA. Easiest recruit Coach Shelton ever got.

POAD

August 9th, 2010
5:26 pm

Tech fans it is more likely she will not go to TECH or UGA. She wouldn’t go to UGA if her dad asked her not to stir that Yellow Jecket Nest. Maybe Tech does not offer a degree she can handle with all her Tennis work. She Might pick Florida, Stanford, or USC(california). mark is not bad looking and he doesn’t scream his Christian beliefs out in public Coach Mark Richt. Mark Price and Dale Murphy are GREAT CHRISTIAN MEN that don’t look to the public for accolades.

Insider

August 9th, 2010
6:16 pm

She is not going to Georgia Tech. She’ll wind up at another ACC school.

Nokia Theatre in Times Square

August 9th, 2010
6:34 pm

————————–
Nesbitt for Heisman
————————–

Worm

August 9th, 2010
6:59 pm

The Price’s are class people..hewitt would be smart to hire him, especially for free throw shooting!..Good luck to Caroline.

jw

August 9th, 2010
7:10 pm

Being home schooled might be a disadvantage for a division 1 school scholarship. She may have to prove her academic worth at a Juco, then get 2 or possibly 3 years at a major university – also, who says you don’t go ahead and turn pro in a year or two? Interesting options down the road.

Good family, great to read family stories! Good luck on all your options and all the other member’s options in the future. Good job, Mark Price family!

UGA Tennis Fan

August 9th, 2010
8:54 pm

I have always admired Mark Price, as a player and a person. I am sure Caroline will make a good choice for college. Bryan Shelton has done a tremendous job in making the Jackets a national player in women’s tennis.

It would be nice to have this young lady in the Bulldogs lineup. It appears Jeff Wallace is loading up for a national championship run, with the NCAA singles champ Chelsey Gullickson returning along with Cameron Ellis, and Nadja Gilchrist. The Dogs are bringing in the top recruiting class of 2010, featuring two top ten recruits, a top 20 recruit, and one of Japan’s top prep players.

jw's confused

August 9th, 2010
9:39 pm

As if the Price’s would allow their daughter to fall behind academically. Please…she is probably smarter than 99.9% of all public and private school kids and will have no problem getting into any college she chooses…prove her academics at Juco…I think you are the idiot…Tennis players are not college football atheletes where 90% of the players can’t spell their names, and still get free rides in college.

phoenix falcon

August 10th, 2010
1:30 pm

I don’t understand why Mark P. is not coaching GT.

phoenix falcon

August 10th, 2010
1:33 pm

@UGA Tennis Fan

what kind of person follows college tennis to the degree you do? just curious .

SouthGARules

August 11th, 2010
12:31 pm

jw: Ever hear of Tim Tebow?

Jack Davis

August 11th, 2010
8:53 pm

This is just an awesome story for me for two reasons: Mark Price was my favorite basketball player growing up, and I played competitive junior tennis. Best of luck to Caroline.

I’m with phoenix falcon, why isn’t Mark coaching gt?