Will Smith hosts tennis clinic at XS Tennis while promoting new book in Chicago

Will Smith stars in 'King Richard' as Venus and Serena Williams' father

ByHosea Sanders and Marsha Jordan WLS logo
Thursday, November 11, 2021
Will Smith hosts tennis clinic at XS Tennis on South Side
While in Chicago to promote his new book, Will Smith hit the tennis court to celebrate some young athletes at XS Tennis on the South Side.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Will Smith's name was up in bright lights Wednesday night on the Chicago Theater marquee, but he wasn't performing.

Instead, he discussed his new memoir, which covers his beginning days as a rapper to his life as a movie star, father and husband.

SEE ALSO | Will Smith explains childhood trauma, unconventional marriage in new memoir

In a "GMA" interview in Philadelphia, Will Smith said that "there' a certain amount of sturdiness ... that gets created in what our beliefs are."

Smith's new movie, "King Richard," is all about the man who turned Venus and Serena Williams into world tennis champions.

His first stop in Chicago was at XS Tennis in Washington Heights, where Smith hit the tennis court to celebrate some young athletes. The actor hosted a tennis clinic for underserved kids in the community. Scholarships were given to young players who already excel in the sport.

Smith was joined by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, who play the phenomenal daughters of a fiercely determined dad.

"It was similar to the experience that we learned about with Venus & Serena, trying to play tennis with public courts and limited resources," Smith said. "That's a tough way to make your dream come true. We heard about this place and it was just important to come back and show support."

SEE ALSO | Disney+ price drop brings $1.99 sale to new, returning streaming customers

Smith also has a series called "Welcome To Earth" debuting on Disney+ next month. He goes on perilous adventures exploring wonders of the world.

"They managed to terrify me every single episode," Smith said. "I think that's part of the plan they have. I told them I wanted to do something, and do things that people had never done before, and Nat Geo for sure delivered."