Tennis champion Katrina Adams talks about her new book

The first Black woman and youngest to lead the United States Tennis Association shares details of her book, "Own the Arena: Getting Ahead, Making a Difference, and Succeeding as the Only One."
5:26 | 02/23/21

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Transcript for Tennis champion Katrina Adams talks about her new book
just a little bit R-e-s-p-e-c-t, our next guest. The trail blazer on the tennis court and in the boardroom. Katrina Adams became the first black woman and youngest person ever to be the first former pro player to leave the united States tennis association. Her new book, "Own the arena: Getting ahead, making a difference and succeeding as the only one" tells her story of rising through the ranks and how others can do it. I see you dancing, Katrina. You're not on camera yet but I see you moving and grooving. You can't help when you hear respect, my friend, respect. This new book, you were just 6 years old when you started to play tennis. You have two older brothers, they were taking you to the court. Didn't have to change the rules to let you play, katrinay. Just a little bit. I badgered, bullied my way onto the court with the coaches and my parents, program was for 9 to 18-year-old, I was only 6 but I knew I could do it better than anyone else on the court. This is somebody who I cannot believe this, you were not 6 months old when you learned how to walk. Come on now, 6 months old? That's what my mom says. My mom and everyone says I was up climbing around at 6 months and fully running around 8 months so she wasn't happy with So that means early on, Katrina, you were somebody that wanted to be the boss, that you wanted to be in control. Do you think that's what that said about you? That's what my mom and everyone else said. My mom says, you've been here before. I don't know where you came from. Because I had such a leadership position about myself or disposition at such an early age. So what if you are not somebody who is born with that kind of confidence. What is your advice to somebody, to build that confidence in themselves? I think it's really important for each individual to really go inward to understand what drives them, what motivates them and once you can determine that, then you can excel to be the leader that you are born to be. Some O us are born leaders and some have to work at it but everybody has the capability of rising to that level. I have to agree with you. I think we all have that within us and it takes a little -- sometimes sports can help bring that out. With you it was tennis and growing up in the area that you did in the Chicago area, that you were exposed to tennis, but you had black coaches, you played against other black tennis players. But then when you started playing on the national level, that changed and also when you went into the boardroom, that changed. You were then all of a sudden the only person of color. So what was that shift like for you, Katrina? You know, my parents kind of raised us to love everyone and be around everyone. Their co-workers were white, jewish, black, hispanic, everything. I grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood. The program was black. The coach was black. The next program I went to was black. The first tournament I played was the nationals which was black so I didn't know that tennis wasn't really a black sport, if you will. So once I started traveling outside into the suburbs and nationally, I realized, you know, where is everyone? It's a little different. But it didn't stop me. It was because it's what I love to do. My parents supported me and I didn't really see myself as different at that time. Just saw myself as someone trying to accomplish the same things that my other competitors were doing. And that's what you did as president of not just one but two terms, not anybody else can say that, two terms as a president, usta and you really wanted people to see and also to hear and do you feel you were able to make an impact, Katrina? I believe I was. I was very fortunate at the usa many years ago really focused on diversity particular in the boardroom. When I got to the boardroom my dearest honor rl mayor David Dinkins was on the board and martin Blackman so I walked in with two other men of color in the boardroom and it progressed over the year, but it was very important for me that when I took the stage, that everyone could see that there are possibilities and that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. And so I wanted to make sure that every platform that I had an opportunity to go and speak on, that I was able to represent not only the usa, not only myself but a broader group of people that perhaps did not see themselves in our sport. You helping that -- tell people what you do there in Harlem with the Harlem junior tennis and education program, really paying it forward. It's a chapter and we've been here 49 years now, I've been there 15 years and serving up community youth, putting rackets in kids' hands for the first time developing them and really giving them the tools necessary to earn a college scholarship, whether it's on the tennis court or through academics so providing tennis, education and wellness to really benefit the Yes, we've had some of your graduates here and they are phenomenal such as yourself. All right, Katrina Adams, good to see you. Thank you for all you do. Continue to be very proud of you especially, "Own the arena," your new book. You take care. Thank you very much. "Own the arena," it is available today.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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