The Tornado Black saga: Parents officially gaming potential athlete children with marketable names

Al Bello

By embracing awesomely named athletes, we've created a monster.

A few weeks ago, fellow SB Nation writer Seth Rosenthal noted to me that one of the competitors in the U.S. Open junior girls singles competition was a quite awesomely named 15-year-old, Tornado Alicia Black. We soon found out that she had a tennis-playing sister named Hurricane Tyra Black.

We thought this was awesome. Dual-named storm sisters, dominating the world of tennis? As an enthusiast in the department of sporting names, I was awestruck.

However, it turns out we were duped by the Blacks' parents, both tennis players, who planned ahead for a life of fame for their youngsters. From (a very well-done) profile of the Blacks by ESPNw, the sisters' mother:

"I have a marketing degree . . . and I knew I needed to do something for them to stand out, and we thought it was cute," Gayal said. "[Tornado didn't like her name] a few years ago. Kids tease you. But now they understand it's marketing and it's very big to say a storm blew through the U.S. Open."

It's official: parents have figured out our weakness for excellent athlete names, and are preying on it. Now, all their children need to do is become highly successful in their chosen sport, and the endorsements and adulation will roll in, regardless of their personality. Alarming.

It's kind of a bummer that she doesn't like the name -- as someone who wishes their name didn't have a D in it, I can't imagine being TORNADO against my will. Although the tennis thing seems to be working out.

Of course, the actual scary part is parents deciding their kids will be tennis stars at like six months, but that seems pretty par for the course nowadays. Best of luck to the storm sisters in their future tennis endeavors, and their future very obvious ad campaigns.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.