When I was eight-years-old, I met a professional tennis player named Arthur Ashe. He was a very nice man who didn’t look like an athlete. He was tall and skinny and wore big glasses. I thought he looked like a teacher, not the number-one tennis player in the world!
Mr. Ashe was very nice to me. In the course of his career in tennis, he was very kind to a lot of people. He wanted people to behave nicely toward each other, and to help each other. He was a hero on the tennis court and off of it.
When my children’s book editor asked me if I wanted to write a book about Arthur Ashe, I said YES! Game, Set, Match, Champion Arthur Ashe is the story of Arthur Ashe’s life, from his childhood in segregated Richmond, Virginia to his death at the age of 49. I wrote the book because I wanted everyone to know about a remarkable man who used his tennis fame to help end racial segregation in South Africa and to raise awareness and research funds for AIDS.
Arthur Ashe met athletes, world leaders, and celebrities all over the world. But when I met him a second time in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, he remembered me. Me! A funny-looking kid in pigtails! He also remembered the names of all my sisters.
In reading Game, Set, Match, Champion Arthur Ashe, I’ve tried to show young readers the man, the champion, who tried to make the world a better place.
I hope you enjoy this story!
Download a copy of “Your Friend, Crystal (A Letter to Readers)” HERE.
For more about Crystal Hubbard, visit her website HERE.