U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens is one of a handful of tennis player with the distinction of defeating both Venus and Serena and last year in Flushing, Queens she put herself at the front of the line as the recipient of Serena Williams’ crown as American tennis’ feeding tube.
Stephens and another girl of color Madison Keys duel it out for a WTA major as Black girl magic took over the tennis culture and for the first time in a very long time it wasn’t the Williams Sisters facing off for another title.
With her fame peaking, Stephens, who lives in Florida has decided to rebuild the tennis courts around the city of Los Angeles. She has embraced a social responsibility to help other kids of color who may not have had the resources and connections that she did learn on her field of dreams sort of speak.
Tennis champ Sloane Stephens helping rebuild youth courts in Compton and LA https://t.co/QKNrsiQgsg
Recently the six-time singles champion hung out with 400 Cali kids on a windy day in Compton and gave them tennis instructions on the court she rebuilt for them. Then offered life lessons about teamwork and sportsmanship. Stephens did all of this for underserved kids in Compton, California, which is, of course, is the birthplace of Venus and Serena.
"I was training here, and I spent a lot of time in California,” Stephens said in an ABC Eyewitness News segment. “My parents are from Fresno, California. Coming out here with the USTA, I was in Carson for a while and I realized, Compton was an underserved district."
At Centennial High School in Compton Sloane’s selflessness and socially conscious immersion has engineered the construction of eight brand new tennis courts. Stephens is reportedly involved with almost 20 different schools, elementary through high school.
"The courts here were pretty rundown. But with her help, and the help of the USTA, these kids now have quality courts," said Linda Milan, the Southern California USTA executive director.
🇺🇸 @SloaneStephens, @Madison_Keys, @CoCoVandey and @matteksands will represent USA in the #FedCup semifinal against France! https://t.co/QigbKeSnL6
With her star illuminating the sky, Stephens has embraced her role as a tennis ambassador and has set some immediate goals that she’d like to accomplish over the next few years in helping people in underserved communities have access and exposure and proper facilities to learn the sport of tennis.
“If one kid can play tennis in their high school - starting from elementary school - that would be a huge success for me,” Stephen's added.
She's off to a solid start and her mind is definitely in the right place.