My Thai Athlete of the Week: Daniel Whelan

My Thai Athlete of the Week: Daniel Whelan


When you look at Daniel Whelan’s Facebook page, you may say oh well there’s one heck of a football player but that’s not even the half of it.

"Soccer, cross country, track, football and tennis." Whelan said.

Yeah he plays all those sports and this Rancho Mirage senior can be found on fields and tracks but it’s the court, tennis court, where he got his start.

"My grandparents use to play and I got a tennis racket for my birthday,” Whelan explained. I started playing when I was younger. Then I came to America and started playing my sophomore year with the tennis team. I continued playing throughout high school.”

That was three years ago when he was a young lad arriving from Ireland and when he did get here something very American happened to him. He discovered football.

"It’s a team game and it’s just like a brotherhood,” Whelan expressed. “That’s what I like."

From seventy-two-yard field goals, over one-hundred mile-per-hour serves, and undefeated in tennis in the De Anza League this season. Daniel is just one well rounded athlete.

"He’s that talented,” Rancho Mirage High School Tennis Head Coach Owen McIntosh said. “Fast, strong, great competitor, so it’s been a real treasure to have him I’ll tell you that.”

He certainly is gifted and because of that he has received a gift. This fall he will head to UC Davis on a full ride football scholarship.

"I think I’m doing economics because I like business and I’m good with number so that’s what I plan to do.” Whelan explained.

And as for continuing tennis….

"You’ll never know,” Whelan said, “I’ll probably play it recreational, that’s probably it."