LA teen tennis standout becomes online entrepreneur

MALIBU, Calif. (KABC) -- Will Weinbach is many things.

He's a tennis star, on-camera host, social media star and a successful entrepreneur.

He's also a 16-year-old about to enter his junior year at Oaks Christian High School.

At 12 years old, Will moved to Pacific Palisades from Connecticut as a top-ranked tennis star.

But tennis wasn't enough for him.

"When I moved out here I got into the entertainment business because its LA. Why not?" he joked.

Weinbach's dream at the time? Start an online interview program featuring top celebrities.

"My whole angle was a kid interviewing celebrities, so giving people a kid's standpoint," he said.

Will gets up before dawn to email publicists every single day.

"It's a full-time job!" he said.

Jason Collins was the first big name to agree to a sit-down. Collins was the first NBA player to come out as gay.

Weinbach would parlay that into a red-carpet opportunity for Nickelodeon.

The rest, they say, is history.

He's interviewed sports stars including Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Ernie Els, Hunter Mahan, and Malcolm Butler.

His favorite interview was with soccer star Hope Solo.

"I think the persistence really paid off with that one. I had an email thread with her publicist of over 100 emails trying to make it happen," he said.

Will said he's established a strong rapport with his guests.

"I've been really surprised because they've taken me really seriously. At first, you wouldn't think they would, because I'm just, like, a kid. But then you get into it and it's really, really fun."

He founded a company called Cross Court TV that features his own online tennis magazine.

His Instagram account @CrossCourtTV now has 122,000 followers and @WillWeinbach has over 40,000.

Will incorporates questions from his followers in his interviews.

"I kind of let my fans do the work and I'm an on-air host! Hah!" he joked. "Other kids like to see other people like them doing extraordinary things because it can tell them they can also do it."

He's been able to capitalize on his large social media following.

"I realized that companies have need to advertise with media outlets," he said.

Weinbach said Fila and Wilson are among the brands sponsoring his pages.

How much are they spending? "I don't like to talk about the money. I kind of just focus on what's to come!"

Will's mother, Janine Brown, said she never put pressure on Will to do this.

"He's motivated on his own and does it all on his own," she said.

She thinks other kids can learn from his example. "If you're motivated, you can do anything!"

In every interview, Will asks his subject to give advice to young people.

Eyewitness News asked Will for his own advice for young people trying to be like him.

"Really just to have fun and work hard. Take what you love and try to do something with it!"

Learn more about Will at his website:
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