Southern California Player Adds Color to Championships
By Andy Kanengiser
NCTTA Media Chairman
One shoe is orange and another is yellow. His socks don’t match.
That’s for starters as University of Southern California table tennis standout Kevin Korb suits up for another match at the 2015 TMS national championships.
His uniform is perfectly legal at the tournament in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Call his approach to collegiate table tennis a little unorthodox or perhaps unusual.
“I like to have fun with it,’’ says the 19-year-old USC student moments before taking on a player from the University of Texas in a singles match Friday morning. “ I get people to notice.’’
Kevin definitely stands out at the April 10-12 tournament on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.
With snow on the ground outside the venue, Kevin’s game, not just his looks, grab the attention of fans.
Against his Texas Longhorn rival, Kevin repeatedly looped the Double Fish ball skyward to make the match more interesting. In practice, he also tried some trick shots between his legs. Again, different gets noticed at the venue attracting nearly 250 of the best collegiate table tennis players in the USA and Canada.
Kevin believes his offbeat clothing styles and funky shots can work to his advantage. “People get a little distracted,’’ says Korb, the president of the USC Ping Pong Posse. It seems to be working. Kevin rates pretty high as a 2000 level player in USATT tournaments and about 1750 in the college ranks.
NCTTA President Willy Leparulo is familiar with what Kevin Korb brings to the Olympic sport.
A psychology major, Kevin adds some spice to the 2015 TMS championships in the Cheese State, Willy says. “He’s a showman for sure.’’
As for his uniform, Kevin meets all the regulations since he is wearing the USC team shirt.
Kevin evidently has a good mentor at Southern California in Adam Bobrow, Willy says. Adam loves to do offbeat things as he goes about promoting table tennis from the USA to China. Adam developed his game and style as a USC Trojan player a few years ago.
Since he’s going to school in Los Angeles, Kevin enjoys mingling with Hollywood stars and famous CEOs in the business world. He’s played at the table tennis charity events sponsored by actress Susan Sarandon, owner of SPIN clubs in New York and L.A. He’s played the game with Troy Carter, CEO of Adam Factory Records, among others. He follows L.A. Clippers hoops star Chris Paul who loves table tennis. Kevin is also a PepPod Table Tennis ambassador (NCTTA's newest sponsor, PepPod) so it is all in the family for Kevin!
This is Kevin’s second time to play at the Nationals. To say the least, he’s enjoying every moment in the spotlight.
Not bad for someone who started playing the game 18 months ago. Want more Kevin Korb? Check out his Instagram account. He’s got 23,000 followers.
The 2015 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Visit Eau Claire and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams. The event is sponsored by TMS International, Double Fish, Joola and PepPod.
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 10th and continues through Sunday April 12th at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org
About USA Table Tennis
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). www.usatt.org