Books That Inspire 2003

Days of Grace
Arthur Ashe

I have read many sports books over the years but none have inspired me more than Days of Grace, the memoirs of the great tennis champion Arthur Ashe. During his early childhood days in Richmond, Virginia, Arthur learned the game of tennis and eventually became one of the top U.S. players of all time. All this while he constantly fought racial prejudice and lack of support from the mostly white tennis community. The book presents to the reader the story of an Afro-American tennis player, who with all the odds stacked against him, rose up and became the first black man to win Wimbledon. He was known by his peers to always carry himself with a great deal of class and dignity. He played the game with a definite style of grace and he led his life and treated people with grace. Arthur died in the prime of his life as a result of a tainted blood transfusion which contained the AIDS virus. The game of tennis will be hard pressed to ever have a champion with the grace, dignity, and class that Arthur Ashe brought to the court.
Paul Lockwood
Head Men's Tennis Coach