MILWAUKEE — Katrina Adams is the first Black woman and youngest person to ever lead the USTA, the U.S. Tennis Association. She also chaired the U.S. Open. Recently she came here to speak with the Milwaukee Tennis and Education Foundation to promote her book, "Own the Arena," as well as encourage kids in the game she loves to become leaders.
"Anybody ever hear of Arthur Ashe?" Adams asked.
"Katrina is such a successful individual," Milwaukee Tennis and Education Foundation Kurt Janavitz says. "Both you know, in sports obviously she had a phenomenal career. But to become, you know CEO of the USTA and run the U.S. Open, and be not only the first, you know, athlete in that position. But the first Black person in that position. The first Black woman in that position. For those kids to be able to see this kind of role model coming in, and the sky's the limit for them. And someone who's been there and done it and sort it, you know work through those odds - just, you know, an amazing story."
"I started playing when I was 6," Adams says.
TMJ4's Lance Allan: "With Katrina coming here today, what does that mean to you? What does it mean to tennis? What does that mean to these kids?"
"It's so exciting that, you know, people from the organization of the USTA are coming out here and showing us some love," MTEF Tennis Director Tony Broaden says. "And, you know, it's so great that we're bringing tennis to the city of Milwaukee where it's so condensed, or dense and everyone's just kind of thinking basketball, football. But there's opportunities in tennis. There's great things that can be done with kids and tennis, and just showing that out here today, I think that's what it's all about."
And for these Milwaukee kids, the impact of a personal message is huge.
"It's important for me to show up," Janavitz says. "It's not, sometimes you'll see people send you know, folks two or three layers, you know, levels down. She's always said I've always felt it's important for me to show up, that I care. And I really want to make a difference with the kids."
So important as the Milwaukee Tennis and Education Foundation not only teaches young boys and girls in the city the game of tennis, but also a mentoring and education program for critical life skills.