MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Tennis and Education Foundation is doing some amazing things, providing tennis training along with critical life skills that will lead city youth to success.
"You know, someone earlier told me that I'm just the biggest kid or the oldest kid out there. And I definitely try to take that to heart, the most I can, and it's a lot of fun being out here with these guys," Milwaukee Tennis and Education Foundation Tennis Director Tony Broaden says.
You can feel the passion when Broaden teaches Milwaukee kids tennis. Some, for the first time.
"He's phenomenal," MTEF Board President Kurt Janavitz says. "We're so fortunate to have Tony. You know, he grew up playing tennis in the city of Milwaukee. He relates to the community. He relates to the kids. He brings so much energy and passion. The sky's the limit for that guy."
Lance Allan of TMJ4 Sports: "When people refer to you as a rising star and you're future is bright. How do you react to that?"
"Ah, I don't know how I feel about that," Broaden says. "You know, I'm just, I'm out here trying to do my best and I'm trying to make a difference."
And you can tell the kids like teasing Tony back.
"Oh my goodness! Shemar!" Broaden yells.
But it's more than tennis. It's about a full-year education program.
"We introduce kids to the life sport of tennis," Janavitz says. "Whether it be discipline. Tenacity. Hard work. You know, all those different types of things. But then we supplement it with education, etc. Where we'll provide things like, you know specific tutoring for, you know, kids that may have, need help with math or English or science or whatever, to really help kids succeed, in life."
Lance Allan: "How much is it tennis? How much is it, like education and life skills?"
"Oh man, you know most important to me? When I step on the court and when we talk to our coaches, there's a couple like philosophies that I like to follow and one of them that's important that I ask myself, what can the sport of tennis do for these kids?" Broaden says. "And you know, everyone comes up with something different and every kid is looking for something different in the sport. But I think most importantly, whether they're learning racket skills, the most important thing is that they're having fun out here, that they're growing as individuals."
Broaden brings the energy in the summer. But he also wants everyone to know this is a year-round tennis and youth development program.