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Naomi Osaka announces first children’s book launched by her production company Hana Kuma

Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is launching her first children’s book under Hana Kuma, a production company she built in partnership with NBA star LeBron James.

Osaka, 24, took to Instagram on Tuesday to announce that “The Way Champs Play,” illustrated by Kamala Nair, will be released on Dec. 6. Osaka reportedly struck a deal with HarperCollins Publishers for the release of the book, according to AP News.

The book will be about Osaka’s Play Academy, a foundation she created in partnership with grassroots organizations to help young girls in organized sports by giving them grants and training.

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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,’” the four-time Grand Slam singles champion said in a statement on 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. 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,” she continued.

In her Instagram post, Osaka said her book “holds an extra special place” in her heart as proceeds will reportedly go to her foundation. She also noted that this is going to be her first book published under Hana Kuma.

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Osaka's production company ignited controversy recently due to its name. The athlete has claimed that Hana Kuma means “flower bear” in Japanese. However, various sources have reported that in Swahili, a Bantu language used in sub-Saharan Africa, the word translates to “woman without a vagina.”

Besides creating a production company and a foundation, Osaka has also established KINLÓ, a skincare brand, and EVOLVE, a sports agency she co-founded with sports agent Stuart Duguid.

Featured Image via Vogue

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