» Universal Pages

Billie Jean King visits Fox Chase Cancer Center
Billie Jean & Fox Chase

What does tennis have in common with Fox Chase Cancer Center?

They’re both good for your health!

On June 2, tennis legend Billie Jean King came to Philadelphia to celebrate the partnership between Fox Chase Cancer Center and World TeamTennis and the health differences both are making in individual lives.

Fox Chase, a sponsor of the 2004 Philadelphia Freedoms season, made King an honorary doctor for a day and treated the tennis star to a behind the scenes tour of science research labs….her first trip back to a science lab, King joked, since she was in 8th grade!

Complete with her own personalized lab coat, King viewed cancer cells, conducted lab experiments and met with cancer patients. “Cancer is something that has touched all of our lives at one time or another,” King said. “My own aunt an uncle died of cancer. We’re grateful to Fox Chase and its doctors for the work they do to help find a cure.”

In addition to her visit with Fox Chase staff, King met and had lunch with 2004 season sponsors. King told the group her World TeamTennis League is entering its 24th consecutive season. She has high hopes for the league’s only major market team: the Philadelphia Freedoms. This year, the Freedoms will feature Patrick Rafter and hometown favorite, Lisa Raymond.

“This will be Rafter’s first experience with World TeamTennis,” King said. “And Lisa is totally “pumped”. She loves being home.”

Lead by veteran WTT coach Craig Kardon, the 2004 Freedoms line-up will be rounded out with returning crowd favorite Elena Tatarkova, former Breakers player Josh Eagle, and rising tennis star and Rafter’s Australian Open doubles partner, John Paul Fruterro.

The Freedoms season will also feature guest player appearances by Andre Agassi and Martina Navratilova. King says her unique co-ed World TeamTennis format promotes social equality, guarantees fun, fosters the growth of our sport, and good health..

“We spend $117 billion a year on obesity each year in the United States. This will be the first generation that will have a shorter life span than the one previous,”

Statistics show tennis is an effective weapon in fighting obesity, depression and osteoporosis. And King applauded the USTA’s new Tennis Welcome Center program and its goal of bringing our sport and its health benefits to millions of new players.

King recognized the Advanta Corporation for it’s continued support of tennis. This season, Advanta will donate 25 thousand racquets to children attending professional tennis events.

The Philadelphia Freedoms season begins July 5th and will feature 7 home matches on their home court at Cabrini College in Radnor.

For scheduling and ticket information, check the Freedoms website at www.philadelphiafreedoms.com