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Class of 2008
Nguyen's Own Blind Side Story Helped Him Reach USC

Daniel Nguyen sees shades of The Blind Side in his journey to college. Only instead of a massive offensive lineman, Nguyen was a 5-foot-6 tennis player in need of direction.

USC Teammates Steve Johnson and Daniel Nguyen
© USC Athletics

The central connecting theme was having a family take Nguyen into their home and help him become eligible to play at a major Division I program.

During high school, Nguyen moved a few miles north to Santa Barbara, California to live with the Grant family. Geoffrey and Annette Grant were raising five children, but welcomed Nguyen as one of their own.

“They were unbelievable. They instilled discipline in me, and the dad was so successful,” Nguyen said. “I think I really fed off that energy and really learned a lot. I was a sponge, and having that mentorship helped me make the jump to college.”

Nguyen’s success at the University of Southern California is unquestioned. He played a big role in USC’s dynastical run of capturing four straight national titles from 2009-2012.

Nguyen won the clinching matches for the Trojans in 2010 and 2011, and was named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player in 2010.

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