When 7-year-old Sacha Marie is not watching her father, New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler, score and rebound on the basketball court, her time is spent playing on a different type of court and watching a different type of athlete. Chandler told the New York Post he brings Sacha Marie to the U.S. Open to watch her hero, Serena Williams, dominate the competition.
Chandler took her daughter to see Serena play in the U.S. Open semifinals. The 31-year-old Williams eventually won her fifth Open on Sunday, giving her 17 Grand Slam titles, as many as Roger Federer.
“It’s hard to describe or fathom what Serena has done for African-American woman, especially young woman,” Chandler told The Post before attending a Fashion Week event in Manhattan. “That’s the reason why my daughter had interest in the game. That’s the reason she wanted to play. Because she watched Serena. A lot of fathers like myself who have young daughters saw Serena and saw opportunities when they wouldn’t have thought it before. That’s what Serena and Venus did. They’re the catalysts.”
Chandler’s daughter is currently taking lessons at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy on Randall‘s Island. Chandler says he is not putting any ideas into his daughter’s head of going pro. For now he just stresses to her the same lesson that was put to him when he was coming up playing basketball: Have fun.
Read more at the New York Post.