SIMPLY JESSICA: Omar Miller travels to grand slam tennis tournaments

Omar Miller was looking to attend a tennis tournament in Miami. The tennis enthusiast called a friend of his in the tennis world.

Miller was on a break from shooting HBO’s “Ballers.” He plays Charles Greane, an NFL player who is searching for his next career. Miller’s friend asked him on the phone what was he currently doing in the lifestyle space.

He knew that Miller had hosted a travel series on Esquire Network. Miller sees exhaustion as the only downside to traveling.

“It’s tough to be all over the world because flights are long,” Miller said. “The up side is the rewards are through the roof. You get to see multiple cultures and how people live. I adopt pieces of the different cultures that I visit into my own life. It makes me a more layered person. There is a growth that I get out of traveling that I really love.”

The meeting led to Miller’s latest television show, “Advantage Omar.” Miller goes on the road covering the destination highlights of all four Grand Slam tournaments via the Tennis Channel.

Tennis has four events that take place in different parts of the world. The first event starts in January with the Australian Open.

The French Open is in Paris in June. In July, Wimbledon takes place in London.

The U.S. Open is in late August and early September in New York.

Miller jumped at the chance to create something innovative. He wanted to show tennis in a fresh manner for a younger audience.

“I hope that people will understand the value of travel,” Miller said. “The world is a big place and there are more things that connect us than divide us. I hope that as people watch my adventures that they are motivated to travel. I hope that I encourage people to try new things and to get out of their comfort zone in their daily lives.”

Omar Miller has a new television show, ‘Advantage Omar, on the Tennis Channel.
(Courtesy photo)

Miller is not quick to pin down a memorable place that he has traveled to. He is quick to tell me to be more specific with my question.

“I’ve had wonderful memories traveling all over the world,” Miller said. “I need a more specific question than that to be able to answer you. I just had a memorable trip in Paris.”

“Advantage Omar” is scheduled to have 20 episodes in it.

The show debuted in early June.

“You should expect more exploration as I present the best of London and the best of Paris through the eyes of someone who likes to take the non-traditional route,” Miller said. ”I like to try different stuff and show you what a trip with me is like. If you’re interested in seeing how a celebrity and a sports fan travels then you will be able to see that in the upcoming episodes. There will be a lot of adventure, cool personalities and celebrities. I am excited about this to be honest.”

In addition to “Advantage Omar,” Miller does a video and audio podcast called the “O-Zone.” It showcases celebrity opinions on sports from different cities. It airs on LeBron James Uninterrupted channel.

Season three of “Ballers” will premiere on July 23.

“‘Ballers” expands into multiple cities,” Miller said. “The show has gotten bigger. People will be interested to see what will unfold this season with all the different characters as they balance daily life.”

You can visit the following link to see Advantage Omar: http://tennischannel.com/search?find=advantage

Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com.

 

Serena Williams is a champion on and off the tennis court

Serena Jameka Williams is more than one of the greatest tennis players in the world. She comes from a black American family that has come to epitomize what it means to consistently struggle and triumph to success in professional sports and in family life. Most importantly, however, is Serena’s demonstrated commitment to freedom, justice and equality.

Across the world, Serena Williams has evolved to symbolize a true champion in the world of global sports as well as a vibrant role model for young women who dare to push forward for equality on the international stage of history. Having just won the French Open against Lucie Safarova in Paris, Serena has now won 20 major tennis singles championships.

At the age of 33, she still has a tremendous career ahead of her as she continues to win tennis competitions throughout the world. Today, she is ranked as the number one female tennis player in the world. Serena and her sister, Venus, also an internationally recognized tennis legend, are admired by millions of people.

But it has not been an easy journey. The Williams family has had to overcome many hardships and difficulties. As black American women tennis stars, each has had to face multiple forms of racial prejudice and stereotypes in the sport and in the media.

Yet, because of the irrepressible spirit and strong determination of the Williams family, Serena continues to soar to the heights of achievement and success.

Serena recently explained to Time magazine how she had to stay focused to achieve her career goals while refusing to let inequalities and indignities hold her back. The fact that she had the constant strength and support of her family was key.

Serena’s father and mother coached and managed her career from the very beginning as she began to win major tennis matches as a teenager.

Even though Serena won a major tennis tournament at Indian Wells, Calif. in 1997 when she was only 15 years old and then again in 1999, in 2001 at the age of 19, she was booed by the predominantly white audience. Subsequently, Serena was falsely accused along with her sister Venus of cheating and throwing a match at Indian Wells.

Williams stated, “The undercurrent of racism was painful, confusing, and unfair. … As a black tennis player, I looked different. I sounded different. I dressed differently. I served differently. But when I stepped onto the court, I could compete with anyone.”

From that time in 2001 until today, Serena and the Williams family have prevailed with resilience and won against the odds of racial and social inequality.

During those years of overcoming the skepticism and critics of Serena, I had the opportunity to meet with her father, Richard Williams. His confidence in Serena’s stamina and skill never waned. I could readily sense that Richard Williams had raised all his children to share his freedom-fighting spirit and resolved.

In 2003, tragedy struck the Williams family when the oldest daughter, Yetunde Price, was killed by gunfire in Compton. Yetunde had also served as a personal assistant to Serena and Venus. The Williams family stayed closely bonded during and after that tragedy.

During a tour of Africa, Serena confided to a group of aspiring girls in Nigeria about not allowing constraints or prefixed social molds to hold you down. She said, “We were able to break the [mold] and win a lot of grand slams and change the face of tennis … when tennis was very dominated by white people. It doesn’t matter what your background is and where you come from, if you have dreams and goals, that’s all that matters.”

Watching the final moments of Serena’s latest win at the French Open June 6, it appeared that every time she hit the tennis ball, Serena was striking more than another triumphant blow to win the tennis championship. Serena Williams was also striking another victorious blow for freedom and equality.

Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. He can be reached for lectures and other professional consultations at http://drbenjaminfchavisjr.wix.com/drbfc.