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Billie Jean King Helps Celebrate Opening Of Refurbished Hunting Park Tennis Courts

Billie Jean King greets Little Flower High School tennis players in Hunting Park. (credit: Paul Kurtz/KYW)

Billie Jean King greets Little Flower High School tennis players in Hunting Park. (credit: Paul Kurtz/KYW)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tennis legend Billie Jean King was in Philadelphia Thursday to promote the sport and visit some courts she helped to refurbish.

She stepped out of her car and like a reigning queen, was immediately mobbed by adoring fans.

Still going strong at age 70, Billie Jean King traveled to Hunting Park Thursday to help the Philadelphia Freedoms kick off their upcoming season and take another look at the refurbished courts that bare the collars of World Team Tennis. Freedoms General Manager Barbara Perry says King donated $50,000 to the effort.

“They were in horrible condition, they needed a lot of work and she said let’s do it,” says Perry.

The courts are now getting a regular workout from neighbors including Little Flower High School, which formed its first tennis team, much to the delight of King. She owes her career to public tennis courts.

“Just think, where I’ve been. I’ve been all over the world. Every single country in the world has a tennis court. It’s a truly global sport and it’s not just for rich kids,” says King.

In keeping with the spirit of giving back, the Freedoms handed out more than 100 free tennis rackets to Legacy Youth and Tennis Education Center Team.

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