Celebrities ranging from Venus Williams to Troye Sivan to Simone Manuel came out to support this year’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Saturday in New York City in the lead-up to the U.S. Open.
This full-day tennis and music festival for families included interactive games, musical entertainment, lots of food, and skills challenges to promote youth tennis and honor the legacy of Arthur Ashe.
Ashe broke barriers in the tennis world, becoming the first African-American male to win a Grand Slam tournament and finishing his career with three Grand Slam titles, including the 1968 U.S. Open. Off the court, he actively supported many social causes.
One of his greatest legacies is National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL), a network of organizations that provide tennis education. Proceeds from this event benefit the USTA Foundation, which helps fund the National Junior Tennis and Learning network and provides tennis lessons and education to hundreds of thousands of kids each year.
The festival was very lively and was co-hosted by singer and actor Jordan Fisher, singer Laura Marano, and actor Joey Bragg. Fisher, a sports fan and former athlete, was looking forward to watching the U.S. Open and seeing Serena and Venus Williams play.
When asked if he could do a duet with any professional athlete, Fisher responded, “Dude, Steph Curry! 100 percent.” He especially likes Curry’s “BBQ and Foot Massage” pregame ritual dance. Fisher also did a little LeBron James celebration dance to get him warmed up for the performance of his new single, “All About Us.”
Speaking of duets, Marano said she would choose Kobe Bryant for her dream professional athlete duet. Marano was excited to premiere her new single, “La La,” at Kids’ Day, and it was a big hit with her many fans in attendance.
Several other athletes, such as Jack Sock, Monica Puig, and Juan Martin del Potro, attended the event to support the USTA and honor Ashe’s legacy.
A very special guest, Simone Manuel, certainly looked like a champion. She arrived with four Olympic medals hanging around her neck. She gave some great advice to the young crowd, telling them to “do what you love, because when you love what you do, you are going to work hard and have fun. On top of that, never give up when times are hard.”
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day was a celebration of sports, music, and kids and a true tribute to Ashe’s legacy.
Photographs by (from top) Brent N. Clarke/WireImage; Max Bonnstetter