NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Four-year varsity swimmer David Hua became the second New Providence swimmer to commit to a Division I school when he signed a "likely letter" to swim for the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday.

Hua, despite fairing well in the pool his first two years in high school, took a major leap forward last year as he improved drastically in all facets of his swimming, allowing him to swim at an Ivy League school seem more like a reality than a fantasy.

“Swimming in college has always been in the back of my head, but the prospect of swimming at a Division I Ivy League school seemed unrealistic to me,” Hua said.  “Last year, training with current Harvard swimmer Sebastian Lutz helped me excel in the pool and I feel that I am just starting to scratch my potential.”

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Lutz isn’t the only person who helped Hua in his rise to stardom in the pool, as his parents, as well as his coaches, all contributed to his success.

“My parents have supported me for so long and have not only driven me to and from practice and meets but also have driven me to be the best swimmer and person I can be,” Hua said.  “Secondly, all my coaches over the years who believed in me from the multiple teams I’ve swam for, they’ve all shaped me as a man and knew that I would reach this moment.”

Hua is a solid addition to a Penn squad that is a stalwart amongst the Ivy League schools, however it was more than just the swimming that Hua factored into his decision.  In addition to joining the swim team, he will enroll in the prestigious Wharton School of Business, giving him the best of both worlds when it comes to athletics and academics.

“It means a lot to me to be able to swim on one of the best, rising programs in the Ivy League and study at one of the best undergraduate business schools at the same time,” Hua said.  “It’s an offer I couldn’t turn down and a combination that I am very excited for.”

Even though Hua is already committed to swim next year in Philadelphia, he still has aspirations this season individually and for his high school team.

The Pioneer swim team, coming off a strong showing in 2014-2015, seeks to improve this season, and Hua wants to be in the middle of it.

“I’m very excited for this year. We have more depth with the incoming freshman that I think will help us go deeper than just the first round in states,” Hua said.  “Our goal is to continue to get relays into the Meet of Champions and win as many duel meets as we can.”

Be sure to catch Hua and his fellow Pioneers in the pool this winter as the season is already under way, with the first meet scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Wardlaw-Hartridge High School.

Editor's Note: Hua's teammate Erica Wirth (shown in the photo above) also verbally committed to swim at the Univerity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For a look at Wirth's accomplishments, click here.