Charity critical to Agassi
Andre Agassi established the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation hoping to help at-risk children inside and outside the classroom. His rigorous ATP schedule never limits him from participating in multiple events each season, such as today's Engels...
Andre Agassi established the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation hoping to help at-risk children inside and outside the classroom.
His rigorous ATP schedule never limits him from participating in multiple events each season, such as today's Engelstad Open in Grand Forks.
"I'm always looking for ways to generate interest and dollars for my foundation," said Agassi, who estimates $50 million has been raised for the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy.
Bill Rapp, promoter of the Engelstad Open, visited Agassi's College Preparatory Academy recently, calling it "one of the most emotional experiences I've had in my life."
Roddick established his own foundation in 2001. He hopes his the Andy Roddick Foundation can mirror the successes of Agassi's foundation.
"His foundation is what I would like mine to be like," Roddick said. "I have no qualms about helping out when I can."
Agassi and Roddick are looking forward to bringing tennis to North Dakota, providing locals a rare opportunity to see two of the top Americans in the game today.
"There's not much for tennis out that way," Roddick said. "It's always exciting to take tennis somewhere that they don't usually see it live."
Neither Agassi nor Roddick has ever been to North Dakota.
Roddick, an Omaha, Neb., native, said his father was stationed in North Dakota "once upon a time."
With Maria Sharapova and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, as headliners, there is a belief that women's tennis has surpassed the men's game in popularity. But don't tell Roddick that.
Roddick disputes the claim, saying the men's game is at least as popular as the women's game right now.
"It's up to the players," Roddick said. "I think there could be a lot of great personalities."
Roddick and Agassi are expected to arrive in Grand Forks at 2 p.m. today. The two players played in an exhibition in Irvine, Calif., on Monday to benefit the Elton John AIDS foundation and the National AIDS fund. ... The Ralph Engelstad Arena received an indoor court from California late last week. ... Roddick squashed any rumor about his own reality show. "Reality TV doesn't really interest me."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558