Cameroonian Siblings Find a New Interest (Tennis) in a New Land

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It was still dark when Pierre Ntonga Jr. and his older sisters, Nadine and Marie Claire, emerged from their high-rise apartment building in Harlem and turned down Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, headed to the Bronx and another day of tennis.

Pierre, 13, had set the alarm for 3 a.m. both days that weekend, just to make certain he and his sisters were not late. They would scramble onto a No. 2 subway, transfer to a bus and then walk the rest of the way to the gleaming Cary Leeds Center in Crotona Park.

Despite the early hour and the complicated commute, there were no complaints. There seldom are for the Ntonga children when it comes to tennis. Wherever they have to go, and whatever the hour, they are usually up for it.

“Can we go play right now?” Marie Claire, 15, said one recent evening as she, her parents and four of her six siblings sat in the living room of their 10th-floor apartment.

It was still dark when Pierre Ntonga Jr. and his older sisters, Nadine and Marie Claire, emerged from their high-rise apartment building in Harlem and turned down Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, headed to the Bronx and another day of tennis.

Pierre, 13, had set the alarm for 3 a.m. both days that weekend, just to make certain he and his sisters were not late. They would scramble onto a No. 2 subway, transfer to a bus and then walk the rest of the way to the gleaming Cary Leeds Center in Crotona Park.

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Despite the early hour and the complicated commute, there were no complaints. There seldom are for the Ntonga children when it comes to tennis. Wherever they have to go, and whatever the hour, they are usually up for it.

“Can we go play right now?” Marie Claire, 15, said one recent evening as she, her parents and four of her six siblings sat in the living room of their 10th-floor apartment.

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