Naomi Osaka to publish picture book ‘The Way Champs Play’

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Naomi Osaka of Japan returns a shot against Daria Saville of Australia during a singles match in the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. Saville retired with a knee injury in the second game of their contest. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Osaka has some life lessons she’d like to share.

The tennis superstar has a deal with HarperCollins Publishers for a children’s picture book, “The Way Champs Play,” scheduled to come out Dec. 6. Illustrated by Kamala Nair, the book was arranged through Osaka’s new media company, Hana Kuma. The story is based on Osaka’s organization Play Academy, which provides grants and training for community sports organizations.

“The Way Champs Play” is Osaka’s first book.

“The leadership, confidence, teamwork, and resilience I’ve learned on the court have been so valuable to me and that’s why I am so excited about my new book, ‘The Way Champs Play,’” Osaka, 24, said in a statement released Tuesday.

“I’ve learned my greatest lessons on the court, and that’s why I started Play Academy, to ensure girls can stay in organized sports,” the four-time Grand Slam singles champion added. “It’s proven to give them the skills they need to succeed not just in sports but in the classroom, in the boardroom, and within their communities.”

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