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Wednesday Coaches Corner: Followup Q&A With Coach King

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Following the two part profile of Morris King, Jr. here on Black Tennis Pro's, Coach King responds to some of the emails that you sent in.

Q: Mr. Eslami said that you are the best coach that he had ever worked with, who had he already worked with in making that comparison?
A: Mr. Eslami's daughters have worked some with Larry Stefanki (who coached John McEnroe, Marcelo Rios, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Tim Henman and is currently coaching Fernando Gonzalez), Robert Lansdorp (Maria Sharapova, Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport, etc.) and Nick Bollettieri, to name a few.

Black Tennis Pro's Wednesday Coaches Corner
Coach King correcting Maryam Eslami's serve
(Ali Eslami, father, in the background)

Q: Why aren't you training the Eslami sisters since Mr. Eslami seems to like your coaching so much?
A: Mr. Eslami is currently trying to find investors in order to be able to pay for coaching, and to provide for all of the other costs associated with playing the circuit. It is strictly a matter of money.

Black Tennis Pro's Wednesday Coaches CornerShabnam Eslami (l), Naseem Eslami Receive Instruction
from Coach King
Q: Why is Ali Eslami attempting to politicize the USTA; why does he call the USTA a failure?
A: The USTA has politicized itself! To get this, you would have to be in and around the USTA for some time and/or need their assistance as a parent or player.

The USTA is a giant clique. As for why he has called it a failure is something that you would have to ask him directly. But consider this: where are the consistent and continuous American champions and No. 1's? Why is the coaching coming out of the USTA's player development department so sub-par? Did you know that the player development department has never, EVER produced a top 10 pro player? Top 25? Top 50? Lindsay Davenport and Chanda Rubin spent time in the USTA's player development program and quit the program. Once they quit and hired their own private coaches, their respective rankings took off and the rest is history. Get it?

Q: Have any Black tennis touring pros approached you about coaching them?
A: No!

Q: Do you prefer to coach men or women? Pros or juniors?
A: No preference regarding gender; but pros over juniors.

Q: Are you a part of Black Tennis Pro's?
A: All Black tennis pros are a part of Black Tennis Pro's. However, it is the baby and undertaking of its creator and owner Shelia. My baby is called MAGIAN World Class Tennis (www.magian10S.com).

Black Tennis Pro's Wednesday Coaches Corner
Q: Do you honestly think that the lack of Black coaches in tennis is due to racism as opposed to Black athletes choosing not to coach tennis?
A: Yes. Most viewers of this blog site did not know that I existed until this interview. Explain that! Who controls the mainstream media that supposedly gets the word out to the public?

Black Tennis Pro's Wednesday Coaches CornerMAGIAN players at Melbourne, Florida
USTA Men's Open Designated Tournament (1997)
(L to R)
Then 16 yrs. old Edmond Dramou (Guinea, West Africa),
NCAA I player Rusty Oca (U.S.),
Coach Morris King, Jr.
(Dramou won the tournament)

Q: What is the country club environment in Jacksonville, Florida like now?
A: Legally they cannot exclude anymore. Other than that...

Q: Why do you persist in pursuing coaching tennis if you feel that the environment is so negative and racist?
A: "A winner never quits and a quitter never wins!" What kind of world class coach would I be if I quit, when I'm required to teach and train players how to go into (tennis) combat and to never, ever give up the fight?

Also, I come from a legacy of people who don't give up or in. Where would we be as a people if Martin had quit? Malcolm? Harriet Tubman? Medgar Evers? Stokely Carmichael? and countless others who gave their very lives?

Q: To your knowledge, how many Black tennis coaches are there available?
A: Not counting me, or Black parents who coach their kids, I know of at least five that are available to coach at the pro circuit level.

Q: No offense, but I've seen Ahsha Rolle play, and I don't think that she's that talented.
A: Okay, that's your opinion. Ahsha Rolle has a skill set that can be readily plugged into advanced level tactics and strategies. She just does not have anyone to coach her on how to plug-in her skill set. Also, Ahsha's physical conditioning is visibly lacking. Ahsha is currently being coached by one of the USTA player development (or high performance) coaches. Need I say more?

Q: Are you concerned with distancing yourself from the USTA because of your criticisms?
A: No. I've only reiterated truths that have been written about and discussed over and over by many, for many years.

Q: Why did you stop working with Venus and Serena?
A: Mission accomplished. Besides, it's the Richard Williams Show, not mine.

Q: What did you like the most and the least about working with Richard Williams and his daughters?
A: The opportunity itself is what I liked the most. What I liked the least I cannot say due to the agreement. But I will say that I don't like the fact that the sisters, since having reached their majority age (meaning that they make their own decisions due to adulthood) ONLY hire whites, unless the person is a family member.

I am one of those Blacks that was arrested in the 60's for protest marching so that there could be a Venus and Serena Williams as world champions. I was a mere 12 years old when I went to jail (juvenile shelter) so that our people could have the opportunity to achieve success. Does anyone actually believe that I and others placed our lives on the line so that Black folk could have opportunity, then, in turn, give away any resulting opportunities to others, when there are exceptionally competent, talented and professional Black folk available who need a break??? This is a very obvious manifestation of a hidden and deeper self-hatred.

Posted by Shelia

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