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Ping Pong Anyone?

Only the very skilled athletes like Roger Federer and Venus Williams compete on the grass courts of Wimbledon. But the cross court volleys and cutting backhands aren't limited to the white lines on the tennis court. It's called table tennis, but many people know it as ping pong.

It's a sport that anybody can play. Just ask 13-year-old Don Faulk.

"My parents taught me. They wanted to get a ping-pong table so they could keep on playing and I thought it'd be a fun thing to try. Didn't think I'd be any good at it but I love it."

"My husband and I had met playing ping pong at the Baptist Student Center at Armstrong many years ago," said Becky Faulk, Don's mother.

Little did Don's parents know their ping-pong love affair would turn into the family sport.

"He really enjoys the game. He likes to play with his dad, his sister and sometimes he can get his mom to play," the spirited mother said.

Don paddled his way into action just four months ago after moving to the United States. He was born and raised in Nigeria while his parents served as missionaries. Curious to know how good he was, Don entered an area competition to test his skills.

Don saw an ad in the newspaper for a ping pong competition, "I said it'd be fun to compete against other kids, I never really played against any other kids my age and I just went to play and I came out a winner."

As a self-proclaimed ping-pong champion, I decided to challenge the 13-year-old prodigy, but first I had to face some tough competition, myself. Then on to the real deal...Don.

The teenager gave me some pointers on how to play the game well.

"You need to focus and if you don't talk you usually do a little better...you have to know when enough strength on the ball is enough and you have to learn how to control the ball. It takes a lot of mind control and it's also just fun," said the ping pong prodigy.

Don's potential could make him a favorite for the yearly Georgia Games competition, but as for now, he says it's all about having fun.

Reported by: Tiffany Greene, tiffanygreene@wtoc.com

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