Playing Serena Williams

Playing Serena Williams, Patrick Mahomes, Mike Trout in high school wasn't easy


Before sports‘ megastars won their 100th match on center court at Flushing Meadows (and she’s still on the quest for Grand Slam No. 24), made their NBA debut at age 19 after a stellar freshman season at Duke, signed the biggest contract in the history of sports (Hint: A 10-year extension with the Kansas City Chiefs at $477 million), they were kids, perfecting their zinger serves, crushing home runs and dominating on the football field.

Facing stars in youth sports can be infuriating, liberating and wonderous. Unlike many stars who played at prep schools or elite athletic academies, Zion Williamson, Mike Trout and Patrick Mahomes played against regular high school opponents and so the stories have become almost legends. Sometimes it’s a, “I played against Zion Williamson when he dropped 53 points,” fun fact, and sometimes it leads to a specific goal like, “I want to see how I can get Serena Williams to make a forced error during this game.”

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