From tennis star to nun

Remember tennis wonderkid Andrea Jaeger? She’s been a Dominican nun in the Episcopal Church since 2006.

The Denver Post reports

Last week, Sister Andrea jetted off to Atlanta to accept the 2008 John Wooden Citizenship Award, presented by Athletes for a Better World. As always, she made time for kids, leading a program at Atlanta’s Children’s Hospital. She also attended the funeral of a child who had once attended her camp. In Sister Andrea’s world, hope and heartache are constants.

Friday night, Jaeger, who has lived in Colorado since 1989, will be inducted into the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame, largely for her contributions as a humanitarian.

Jaeger considers it an ironic blessing that although she quit the professional tennis circuit 23 years ago, her meteoric athletic career continues opening doors and helps raise the $4.5 million needed annually to keep her foundation running.

None of her struggles today, however, compares to the shallow, empty, lonely feeling Jaeger felt on the tennis circuit after turning pro at age 14. She soon found that her real joy came from helping sick children.

One day, on the spur of the moment, she sold an $18,000 gold watch she received from a commercial endorsement and spent the money on presents for children, which she anonymously donated to hospitals near her home in Florida.

Though she loved the athleticism involved in tennis, she didn’t put her heart and soul into matches in part because she didn’t want to win at someone else’s expense.

Read it here. The link includes a video of an interview with Sister Andrea Jaeger.

Here’s an earlier Lead story on Jaeger.

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