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Baltimore native shatters tennis barriers for African-American women

August 21, 2019


THE LIKES OF THE WILLIAMS
SISTERS AND MANY MORE. LISSA: ANN KOGER IS A ROCK STAR
ON THE TENNIS SCENE. SHE HAS HAD QUITE THE STORIED
CAREER AND REPUTATION ON THE
COURTS. IN 2016, SHE RETIRED AFTER 35
YEARS AS THE HEAD COACH OF
WOMEN’S TENNIS AT HAVERFORD
COLLEGE IN PENNSYLVANIA. SHE GOT HER LOVE OF TENNIS FROM
HER MOTHER.>>MY MOTHER WANTED A FAMILY
ACTIVITY, WE COULD GO TO DRUID
HILL PARK FOR FREE, GET ON THE
TENNIS COURTS. LISA: HER SISTER GOT RANKED AND
THE FAMILY STARTED TRAVELING FOR
TOURNAMENTS UNTIL IT GOT TOO
EPXENSIVE, AND ANN WAS LEFT
BEHIND. HER MOTHER SAID IF SHE LEARNED
TO PLAY, SHE COULD TRAVEL. SHE DID. IN 1962 AT THE AGE OF 12, SHE
WON HER FIRST BIG TOURNAMENT AND
SHE KNEW SHE COULD BE GREA
LOOMING OVER HER GOALS WERE THE
SOCIAL ILLS OF THE 1960’S.>>WE WEREN’T ALLOWED TO PLAY,
TO GO IN ALL THE CLUBS WEREN’T
ALLOWED TO PLAY ON ALL OF THE
TENNIS COURTS NOT CLAY COURTS
AND CERTAINLY NOT GRASS COURTS. LISA: ANN SAYS THE SPORT
DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BLACK
PLAYERS, BY REQUIRING
TOURNAMENTS BY INVITATION ONLY
, OR CLUBS HELD CLOSED
TOURNAMENTS. ANN BECAME A TOP RANKED PLAYER
AS A JUNIOR IN THE U.S LAWN
TENNIS ASSOCIATION. ANN ALONG WITH BONNIE LOGAN WERE
THE TWO FEMALE PLAYERS ON THE
MEN’S TENNIS TEAM AT MORGAN
STATE UNIVERSITY. AFTER MORGAN ANN AND BONNIE
BECAME THE COUNTRY’S FIRST
AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN TO PLAY
PROFESSIONALLY IN THE VIRGINIA
SLIMS TENNIS CIRCUIT COMPETEING
FROM 1973 TO 77.>>IT WAS A GREAT OPPORTUTNITY,
BUT A LONELY OPPORTUNITY,
BECAUSE THERE WEREN’T MORE LIKE
ME, SO I STARTED MOVING IN THE
— ONCE I STARTED MOVING IN THE
NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT. LISA: AFTER VARIOUS TEACHING AND
COACHING POSITIONS IN BALTIMORE,
ANN WAS INVITED TO HAVERFORD
KNOWLEDGE AS ITS FIRST LIKE
WOMEN’S COLLEGE TENNIS COACH.>>NOW 35 YEARS LATER, I STAND
BEFORE YOU ITCHING TO DO
SOMETHING ELSE. [LAUGHTER]
LISA: LISA ROBINSON, WBAL TV 11
NEWS. ANDRE: THAT’S A GREAT STORY,
LISA. ALL RIGHT. KOGER HAS WON HUNDREDS OF AWARDS
AND HONORS THROUGHOUT HER
CAREER. THESE DAYS ONE OF HER FAVORITE
THINGS TO DO IS PLAY PICKLE BALL
BUT SHE REMAINS ACTIVE IN
HELPING ADVANCE THE SPORT OF
TENNIS IN MANY ARE

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