tyson chandler & daughter sacha marie

Tyson Chandler with his daughter at the U.S. Open

*It seems NY Knicks star center Tyson Chandler has a future athlete budding in the family. That would be his seven year-old daughter Sacha Marie.

Sacha Marie is a huge fan of Serena Williams and wants be just like her one day and daddy is lovin’ that idea. And just case the little one is  really serious, he’s got her enrolled at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy on New York’s Randall’s Island.

Chandler and Serena grew up in the same part of the Los Angeles area, Compton, and he’s obviously super proud of her as well. He recently took Sacha Marie to the US Open watch 31-year-old Williams at work where she won her fifth Open on Sunday, giving her 17 Grand Slam titles.

“It’s hard to describe or fathom what Serena has done for African-American woman, especially young woman,” Chandler told The NY Post before attending a Fashion Week event in Manhattan. “That’s the reason why my daughter had interest in the game. That’s the reason she wanted to play. Because she watched Serena. A lot of fathers like myself who have young daughters saw Serena and saw opportunities when they wouldn’t have thought it before. That’s what Serena and Venus did. They’re the catalysts.’’

Of course Chandler would love for his daughter to meet Serena.

“Serena, as ladylike as she is, she’s a fierce competitor on the court,” said Chandler, who is working out at the Knicks practice facility with a few teammates in anticipation of the start of training camp on Sept. 30. “She gives it her all and she has the competitive edge over the others. Combine that with the talent she was blessed with, it created a legend. [Growing up in Compton] I think made her tougher, coming from a tough area.’’

Chandler says he has no particular ambition of his daughter turning pro. If it happens, it happens.

“I want her to have fun with the game now,’’ Chandler said. “I don’t want her to think about anything that competitive. That’s how I was brought up — to have fun with basketball. I don’t want her have that pressure. I want her more focused on her education. Sports should always be fun.”

Read the rest of this story at NY Post.