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Tennis Great Andre Agassi Celebrates New Detroit Charter School

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Former tennis star Andre Agassi. (Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GettyImages)

Former tennis star Andre Agassi. (Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GettyImages)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Andre Agassi will be in Detroit Tuesday to lead a tour of a newly opened charter school.

Classes started earlier this month at the Southwest Detroit Lighthouse Charter Academy, where music, dance, art and theater are interwoven in the curriculum.

As WWJ’s Sandra McNeill found out, the school is paid for by a fund that Agassi helped create.

Agassi said although he’s considered a great in the tennis world, he missed out on his childhood and a valuable education.

“I wasn’t born to be a tennis player, I was made to be a tennis player,” he said. “I had my feelings of being overmatched by cultures, by books, you know, I always kind of thought because of my lack of education.”

Agassi said his Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund builds new schools or renovates existing buildings for charter management companies.

“I was pretty lucky to be able to fall back on tennis but kids that aren’t so lucky to be one of the best in the world at a sport, well, where do they end up without an education,” he said. “I got into it kind of with that passion and its only grown and its become more of an addiction. I can’t stop trying to figure out ways to impact more children.”

Agassi said he will always be an advocate for charter schools, which he believes provide a better education than public schools.

“For example, there’s parental contracts that force the parents to commit to a level of involvement,” he said.

The Southwest Detroit Lighthouse Charter Academy is the first charter school in Michigan to benefit from Agassi’s fund. Nationwide, there are roughly two dozen already and plans for more in the coming years.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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