National Signing Day: Braverman headed to Baylor; three CSN athletes sign
Local tennis star Justin Braverman is headed to one of the country’s top college tennis programs.
On Wednesday morning, Braverman signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Baylor of the Big 12 Conference. A signing ceremony was planned at the Gomez Tennis Academy, where Braverman trains, in Imperial Golf Club. However, it was canceled due to rain and moved to Thursday.
Baylor went 25-6 and won the Big 12 title in 2019. The Bears also won regional and super-regional championships in the NCAA’s team tournament that year. Baylor was 13-3 this past spring before the season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
Braverman, a 6-foot-4 lefthander, is a former finalist for Naples Daily News Boys Tennis Player of the Year. He was a finalist in 2018 as a freshman. Braverman won district championships at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles that year playing for Naples High. He was CSN's captain and team MVP in 2019 as a sophomore.
A member of the Make-A-Wish Leadership Committee and a Special Olympics tennis coach, Braverman also ran cross country and track at Community School. He started at CSN in pre-K before spending one year at Naples and attending an online academy as a senior.
The following season, Braverman transferred to Community School. He also played for the Seahawks from sixth through eighth grades. Braverman helps CSN win a district title in 2019.
TennisRecruiting.net has Braverman ranked the No. 19 senior recruit in Florida. He’s also ranked No. 38 in the southeastern region of the United States.
Ethan Muza, who trains with Braverman at Gomez Tennis Academy, also signed with Baylor on Wednesday. Muza is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Trio of Seahawks commit to colleges
Community School of Naples held a ceremony Wednesday for three athletes signing with colleges.
Track and field athlete Loren Brown signed with the University of Chicago. Lacrosse player Brianne Johanson signed with Delaware State. Baseball player Cooper Smith is headed to Stetson.
Brown is a two-time finalist for Naples Daily News Girls Track Athlete of the Year. She might have been a three-time finalist but the 2020 spring season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As a freshman, Brown finished second at the Class 1A state finals in the 100-meter hurdles and fourth in the 300 hurdles. She won district and regional championships in both. As a sophomore, she againsswept district and regional titles in the events, finished second at state in the 100 hurdles, and set the school record in the 200.
Chicago is an NCAA Division III program. Smith and Johanson are headed to Division I schools.
Smith will play his sixth season for the Seahawks this spring. His first played varsity when he was in seventh grade. As a sophomore he went 5-3 on the mound and was 1-1 last year before the season was cut short.
Stetson plays in the ASUN conference, so Smith will get a chance to face off against local team FGCU.
Delaware State, where Johanson will play, is in the Southern Conference. It is a young program, eight years old with its inaugural season in 2013.