|School: Cleveland (Commerce)||Graduation Year: 2010|
Year Inducted: 2014
Sports Played: Tennis
High School Honors: 4-year letter winner in tennis, undefeated (50-0) four-time PIL and OSAA State Champion, first in Oregon prep history to finish four years undefeated and win four state titles, featured in Sports Illustrated "faces in the crowd" June, 2010. Cleveland won its first and only championship in 2010. As a junior competitor, Alex competed as a member of the Northwest Pacific Cub team a record five times, serving as team captain and winning the Pacific Cup twice. He was ranked number 1 in the Pacific NW USTA boys 18 division in 2008 and 2009 with a 65 matching-winning streak. Nationally, he was ranked 24th in 2008. He received the USTA-Pacific NW Scott Eden Sportsmanship Award as the top male sportsman in 2009. He was a finalist for the Johnny Carpenter Prep Athlete of the Year in Oregon held January, 2011.
Post High School Career: 3-year letter winner at University of Oregon; he recorded 60 wins (5th all-time record at UO), including 22 as the number 1 singles competitor. In doubles, his 53 wins are 8th all-time high at UO. He was NW Region Rookie of the Year for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in 2010. Alex died in a diving accident May 12, 2013, after completing his junior year at Oregon. At age 21, Alex is the youngest inductee in PIL HOF history. In November 2013, U of O dedicated center court in his legacy and honor and created the Alex Rovello Award as part of the University of Oregon’s Men’s Tennis Foundation. Also in his memory is the Alex Rovello Memorial Tennis Court at Berkeley Park where his tennis playing started and where Cleveland plays home matches. Alex was inducted into the Mel Krause-Cleveland High School Athletic Hall of Fame, 2014.
Thank you so much for including Alex as one of your inductees this year. He had spoken of how he hoped some day to be included in the Cleveland Hall of Fame and PIL, so I know it meant a great deal to him even as a young athlete. Alex would be greatly humbled and honored to part of this outstanding group. (Jim & Geri Rovello, Alex’s parents)
Though well-known for his tennis talents, Alex was also well-loved by young and old alike for his kindness, his respectful attitude and his love of life. He was a leader and role model, a loyal and dedicated teammate and a friend to all who knew him. (from AlexRovelloMemorial.org)
Alex’s intensity and focus was beautiful to watch, he savored every moment on the court and was always determined to get better. We feel so blessed that we were able to be a part of his life during this time.
We will never understand why this happened and our hearts will be forever broken. We feel fortunate to have known Alex at such a young age and were able to watch him grow up. He was an incredible man who was loved by everyone he came in contact with. We were able to spend so many hours on the court with him and we loved every minute of it, even when he started beating us. (Ashley Sammis and Cristin Bansen on AlexRovelloMemorial.org website)
After the match, Alex came up to me, and we spoke about how he felt about his performance. I remember him saying to me, "Yeah, that was a tough one. But I felt I played pretty well, and I learned a lot about myself, and where I can improve my game. He was a good opponent, and I had fun playing him." And the whole time while we spoke, he was smiling that big, famous, Alex grin. That is what I love most about Alex: in the match, he is the most intense person you will ever come across. But after the match, you wouldn’t be able to tell from looking at him whether he had won or lost. He is never too high on his wins (well, except for maybe after Cleveland won the team title in 2010), and he is never too low on his losses.
But no matter what successes he had, his friends’ accomplishments were always more important, even if they were relatively small like being a part of a D-III Men soccer team. No matter what, he always wants to be prominent in every one of his friends’ lives. And I am forever grateful that he is. (previous two paragraphs from Bradley Eckerson)
I wrote Alex on the back of my shoes in his memory. Sometimes when I’m being lazy and lack motivation or I’m not fighting hard enough in a match, I just look down at my shoes and reflect on Alex for a moment. I remember his work ethic and his style of grinding points. I use that to improve my own tennis game. Many of us have great memories of Alex. Rest in peace Rovello. You never will be forgotten as you have left an imprint on many of your friends, family, and tennis community. HEAT! (Marc DeSantis, Eastmoreland Racket Club)