U.S. Open tennis champion Sloane Stephens helping rebuild Compton courts

COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- It's the tennis version of "Field of Dreams."

"I don't know if it's 'you build it and they will come,' but if you look around, she's done it," said Elliott Pettit, the USTA national director of school tennis.

U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens lives in Florida. But she's changing lives in Los Angeles.

"I was training here, and I spent a lot of time in California. My parents are from Fresno, California. Coming out here with the USTA, I was in Carson for a while and I realized, Compton was an underserved district," Stephens said.

This six-time singles champion used tennis to teach 400 kids in Compton the life lessons of teamwork and sportsmanship. She taught and played on new courts she helped rebuild.

"She's involved in 17 different schools, elementary through high school. The courts here were pretty rundown. But with her help, and the help of the USTA, these kids now have quality courts," said Linda Milan, the Southern California USTA executive director.

It's not every day you get to hit tennis balls with Sloane Stephens. But you can see she loves kids and embraces helping them.

"I started my foundation four years ago," she said. "We re-built all the courts at the elementary schools and high schools. Here (at Centennial High School in Compton) we have eight brand new tennis courts."

After she helped teach a few kids some quick lessons, she added, "if one kid can play tennis in their high school - starting from elementary school - that would be a huge success for me."

On a windy day in Compton, it was the generosity of Sloane Stephens that blew everyone away.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.