December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 37

KATRINA ADAMS
Parks & Recreation: What
influence did parks and
recreation have on you during
your childhood?
Katrina Adams: Well, I got started
in the park, so it had a huge influence
on me. It's where I grew up. I
was able to walk three, four blocks
to [Chicago's] Garfield Park and
play tennis every day in the summertime.
The program I started
[playing tennis] in was sponsored
by the Martin Luther King Jr. Boys
Club. And, every summer, they had
an activity - that summer happened
to be tennis organized by a
couple coaches, and it was for kids
[ages] 9 to 18. I was actually 6 years
old, so I was a tag-along sister.
And I had to beg my way into the
program because I was there with
my two older brothers sitting outside
of the fence because I was too
young. But after a couple of weeks,
I was able to fight my way into the
program and I loved it at first hit -
and so that was it.
The parks meant everything to me
to be able to go and be in the program
every day. The program was
eight weeks [long], so I only had six
weeks in [which I was part of] that
program. Summer after summer, I
was there in my park, [and then I]
started playing at other parks [or]
wherever I could play, and [then
I] started playing tournaments in
parks. So, the parks...had a huge
influence on me in my development
as a tennis player, but also in just
seeing other sports and activities in
the park. Chicago has a huge number
of parks, and they are very large.
So, I was very fortunate to grow up
in a city that really utilized the parks
and recreation centers for activities
for not just youth, but [also] for
adults alike.
P&R: As you were playing in
these tournaments as a kid, did
you start to think you wanted to
do this as a profession?
Adams: Well, back in the '70s...I
grew up in a community...where
it wasn't like you saw tennis 24/7
on television and you didn't really
[know tennis] was a professional
career. Yes, the adults talked about
professional tennis; yes, I saw tennis
on television occasionally; yes,
I saw Arthur Ashe win Wimbledon
that summer [of 1975] beating Jimmy
Connors in the finals.... But I
still didn't understand what that
meant. I knew that people talked
about it, but I was 6 years old. I
didn't know what it meant [at the
time] - not until many, many
Adams, who wrote about the life lessons
she learned on and off the court in
Own the Arena, started playing tennis
in her local parks through junior tennis
programs and tournaments.
38 Parks & Recreation | DECEMBER 2 0 2 3
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
years later. But...every summer, I
played tournaments either at Garfield
Park, Tuley Park, Lincoln
Park, Waveland Park,
Jackson
Park or Rainbow Park....
P&R: How did your professional
tennis career prepare you for
your role with the USTA?
Adams: Well, having played on the
tour for 12 years at the highest level
playing every Grand Slam event, I
started developing major relationships
across the world - particularly
from the WTA Tour leadership.
I served on my WTA Players
Association Board as well as the
WTA Tour Board. So, I started developing
these [personal] relationships
and business
relationships
with tournament directors [and]
leaders within the industry - not
just in America, but globally. After
I retired from playing, I was a national
coach. I was still out there...
building
these
relationships and
networking. When I stopped coaching,
I joined the USTA Board, and
I really started to understand what
we did within our association from
a grassroots
level. When you're
competing, you know your sport,
you know your organization from
playing USTA tournaments and
getting a USTA ranking, and then
ultimately playing the U.S. Open or
playing on your USA team, either
the Fed Cup team - which is now
the Billie Jean King Cup team - or
your Davis Cup team. But I didn't
really understand what they did
from the grassroots level and up.
I didn't really understand that besides
my coaches, they were partly
responsible for me developing and
advancing; that they actually supported
me to be on all the junior
teams in the summertime, on the
national teams that afforded me
the opportunity to go and play the
PHOTO COURTESY OF AMISTAD BOOKS, HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS

December 2023 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2023 - Parks & Recreation

December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 4
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 5
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 6
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 7
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 8
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 9
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 10
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 11
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 12
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 13
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 14
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 15
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 16
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 17
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 18
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 19
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 20
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 21
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 22
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 23
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 24
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 25
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 26
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 27
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 28
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 29
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 30
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 31
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 32
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 33
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 34
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 35
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 36
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 37
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 38
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 39
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 40
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 41
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 42
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 43
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 44
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 45
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 46
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 47
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 48
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 49
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 50
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 51
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 52
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 53
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 54
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 55
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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