Riley Reist

Sport: Men’s tennis

Age: 22

Year: Senior

Hometown: Indianapolis

Major: Strategic communications

Question: I have it on good authority that Teletubbies are part of your pre-match routine. This is going to be one of “those” interviews, isn’t it?

Answer: I hope my future employer doesn’t see this.

Q: So what’s the connection with Teletubbies?

A: I may or may not set my stopwatch to 43 minutes, 43 seconds and listen to the Teletubbies intro song on repeat.

Q: “My body is a temple.” Is this statement true or false?

A: Yes, my body is, in fact, a temple. I give my body what it wants and that’s why we get along so well. I respect my body and my body respects me. If my stomach growls at 9:30 at night I take it as, “Hey, Rilo, I need a Snickers bar. Walk on over to the gas station and get me one.”

Q: You’re listed in your OSU bio as 5 feet 11, 150 pounds; is it easy to maintain that slim cut on a college diet?

A: It’s actually tougher than you think to maintain a body type like mine. If Five Guys and Canes weren’t on campus, you might be looking at a guy who’s 5-11, 132 pounds.

Q: You once harbor aspirations of playing basketball. What happened?

A: I looked in the mirror after sixth-grade tryouts and thought, “I am one of the top tennis players in the country for my age, and I just got put on the B team for my CYO basketball team. I think the smart decision would be to stick to tennis.”

Q: Who is your favorite player?

A: I grew up in Indianapolis idolizing Pacers legend Reggie Miller. Nobody will ever convince me that Steph Curry would beat Reggie Miller in a three-point contest.

Q: Your father, Marty, was a tennis player of some renown in his day, correct?

A: Yes, my dad was a great player. He’s in the Hall of Fame at Ball State. He grew up playing with (OSU coach Ty Tucker) and loves to remind me that he used to beat him back in the day. He usually refrains from mentioning he’s 5 years older than him.

Q: Did you and your father ever play each other? If so, at what point did you overtake him and how did he deal with it?

A: Yes, we played all the time, and my mother wasn’t the biggest fan of that. The first time I beat him in a set was when I was 14 years old. I think the injury he made up for my first victory was his back. As I started beating him consistently he would usually rotate between saying his back and elbow was bothering him.

Q: So Marty and Annie Reist had four kids — you and Parker, Spencer and Mallory. Where are you slotted among them, in terms of age?

A: I am the oldest. Parker is a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati. Spencer and Mallory are juniors at Brebeuf Jesuit High School in Indianapolis.

Q: Are they athletes, as well?

A: Spencer is living my dream as a basketball player. He’s 6 feet 1 and still growing (hopefully). He is ranked as a top-10 shooting guard in his recruiting class in Indiana. My sister Mallory dances competitively and her team won state last year. Parker is the next Paul Biancardi as far as college basketball recruiting knowledge (the FBI is not investigating him).

Q: Softball question: What’s it like to be part of a team that is enjoying such consistent success?

A: Being on this team comes with its perks. We definitely get to celebrate a lot. Our coaching staff is the best in the business and have made Ohio State one of the more elite programs in the country.

Q: And the hardball: Does Ty Tucker still dress like a schlub? Be honest.

A: I had to look up what “schlub” means, and after reading the definition, I will say that Coach Tucker has his own unique style. He is an extremely superstitious guy with his clothing. However, I don’t expect him and his gray sweatpants to cover GQ any time soon.

Q: And the oddball: If you had to be a zoo animal for a week or two, what would you choose?

A: Definitely a lion. If it is the king of the jungle I think it also would be the king of the zoo, which is what I would want to be.

rstein@dispatch.com