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Rising tennis star started off in Oregon

Only a tennis aficionado will recall her name from her days playing the Pacific Northwest junior circuit, but Samantha Reeves is becoming the top women's tennis player to have developed her game in Oregon.

Reeves, 24, lost to the world's No. 2-rated player, Kim Clijsters, in the third round at Wimbledon last week, but wins in the first two rounds are likely to elevate the Miami resident from No. 109 to the top 75 in the world.

A decade ago, she was the Pacific Northwest's top-ranked player in girls 16 and under Ñ as a 14-year-old. She was heading into her freshman year at Lake Oswego High School when her father, Jack, lost his job as creative director of a Portland advertising firm, and the family took off for Wisconsin.

The Reeves lived in Lake Oswego for 3 1/2 years, from 1990-93. During that period, Samantha made her mark as the best player in the region for her age group and beyond.

'She was beating up on everyone,' says Gundars Tilmanis, the Lewis & Clark College coach who worked with Reeves during her time in Portland, helping her become the most successful prodigy of his 30-year teaching career.

'She was a good competitor, very feisty, talented and fast,' says Roger McKee, head pro at Mountain Park Racquet Club, where the Reeves were members. 'I'm not surprised at what she has accomplished. She had the ability, but at that age, you never know who's going to be able to put it together.'

Reeves turned pro in 1998 but didn't start to come on until last year, when she made it to the second round of the French Open and the first round of the other three majors and finished 101st on the ranking list. This year, she lost to Clijsters in the first round of the Australian Open and to Venus Williams in the first round of the French Open but made the semifinals of a Women's Tennis Association event for the first time.

'Samantha has been playing with a lot more confidence,' says Jack Reeves, who now lives in Boone, N.C. 'Her game is maturing, and I think she still has her best tennis ahead of her.'

Reeves has plenty of family in the Portland area, including a grandfather, aunts and uncles.

• Dave Brundage, the former Sprague High and Oregon State standout, will be one of the coaches for the World team in baseball's Futures game. This year's game features top minor league prospects and will be played at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field on July 13, two days before the major league All-Star Game.

Brundage, 38, seems a rising star in the Seattle Mariners' organization. Last year, in his second season managing San Antonio in the Double-A Texas League, the Missions won the league championship. This year, the Missions are 53-25 Ñ the best record in pro ball at any level Ñ and won the league's first half. Two weeks ago, he managed in the Double-A All-Star Game in Wichita, Kan.

'It's been fun,' says Brundage, who aspires to be a manager in the big leagues. 'And it's going to be quite an honor to get on a plane and go to Comiskey.'

Brundage's wife, Dameron, and son Bo have been in Scappoose visiting her parents the last couple of weeks. Things are about to get busier Ñ Dameron is expecting twins this fall.

• You can't mistake the voice of 'The Book' if you attend 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,' the Broadway Rose Theater Company's play running through July 13 at Tigard High's Deb Fennell Auditorium. No, it's not the voice of God. It's Bill Schonely, who recorded his lines last week, to be used when the male lead, J.P. Finch, turns to 'The Book' for direction.