James Blake

James Blake is a well-known tennis player who participated in the ATP tours and reached the world ranking of number 4 and ranked number 1 in the U.S.   James Blake was born in Yonkers, New York, on December 28, 1979. He is the son of Thomas Reynolds and Betty Blake. His father was African American and his mother is a British Caucasian woman.

Blake, at a young age, took up tennis alongside his brother Thomas. At just the age of 13, Blake was diagnosed with severe scoliosis which led him to have to wear a full-length back brace until he was 18 for 18 hours a day.  The only exception to Blake wearing his brace was during his tennis playing.

Blake grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he attended Fairfield High school.  It was here that he was inspired to pursue tennis by his first and longtime coach Brian Barker. After leaving Harvard University after his sophomore year, he began his professional tennis career. During his professional career, he has achieved 10 single career titles and 7 doubles titles.

In 2005, James was named Comeback Player of the Year, and in 2008, he was given the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.  Currently, he wishes to use his celebrity and time in retirement to continue humanitarian work.  He created the James Blake Foundation to assist with medical discoveries and research concerning cancer in honor of his father who died of cancer.

Skylar Wooten, Project RACE Teens Vice President

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