Brookfield East senior born with a racket in his hands
BROOKFIELD, Wis. - Brookfield East senior Sam Klein is a two-time state champion, but those did not come easily.
A major set-back could have knocked him off the court permanently.
But it did not, and that's why he is this week's FOX6 High School Hot Shot.
Tennis has always been a part of Klein's life, and he credits that to his dad.
"My dad played here at Brookfield East," said Klein. "He went on to play at Wisconsin Madison, so he was going to ingrain it in me no matter what. Right as I was ready I was going to be on the court with a racket."
Klein says tennis has definitely brought his family closer.
"It has really given me a great connection with my dad, just being able to go out on the court and play some tennis together," Klein said. "And with my brothers. I always wanted to follow my dad's footsteps and play here, and all three of my brothers played on the team, so I knew I wanted to be out here and be a Spartan."
His junior season at Brookfield East got off to a late start.
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"I played a tournament at the end of December and my back, it just gave out," said Klein. "We saw some doctors in January, and they let me know I fractured my L5 on both sides. I was in a cast with no movement for six weeks. No activity at all."
Klein said the injury was from overuse, and it's another thing he has in common with his dad, who also broke his back.
"It was definitely a weird experience, and it made me appreciate the sport a lot more and know that when I came back I wanted to work as hard as I could to come back even stronger and just appreciate the sport more."
Klein was able to return to the court in time to help the Spartans win the Division 1 State Championship.