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Renee Montgomery tells the story of legendary basketball and tennis star Ora Washington in new podcast

Never heard of the Serena Williams of the 1920s and 30s? Well, Renee Montgomery is here to tell you all about Ora Washington, a legendary Black female athlete whose story has been kept in the shadows.

New York Liberty v Atlanta Dream
Atlanta Dream co-owner Renee Montgomery
Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The BBC debuted a new podcast, “Untold Legends: Ora,” Monday and it features Atlanta Dream co-owner/WNBA All-Star and champion Renee Montgomery sharing the story of Ora Washington, whose legendary basketball and tennis careers have been kept in the shadows due to her race and gender.

Through what the BCC referred to as “extensive research,” Montgomery will be able to provide special insight into Washington’s story — how her 201 trophies in basketball and tennis combined have gone unheralded until now and what it was really like to be a Black female athlete in the 1920s and 30s.

Washington competed in Black women’s tennis — the sport was segregated back then — and played for the Philadelphia Tribunes and Germantown Hornets on the basketball court. She was a hoops star and was elite when it came to tennis as well, winning seven-straight championships form 1929 to 1935 and going undefeated over a span of 12 years.

Without Washington, Althea Gibson may have never broken the color barrier in women’s tennis in the 1950s and Venus and Serena Williams may not have become the icons they became around the time of the new millennium.

In the seven-part weekly series, Montgomery will compare Washington’s experiences to her experiences as a Black female athlete in the 20-teens to see what is different and what has stayed the same.

Check out this important look at one of the greatest female athletes in American history. The first episode, “An empty chair,” is available now on BBC Sounds, as is the trailer for the series.