Oracene Price is best known as the coach and mother of tennis stars Venus Williams and Serena Williams. She is also known as the former wife of tennis coach Richard Williams. Her calm and unflappable attitude has won her the support of many people. She has been credited with the success of her daughters and is one of the chief reasons why the siblings took up tennis in the first place. Having motivated her daughters to become the best of what they are, Oracene has on numerous occasions expressed happiness for her daughters’ achievements. In addition to being a capable coach and a good mother, Oracene is also actively working for various charity foundations and causes and has also travelled with her daughters to many countries for the same. She has taught spirituality to her daughters and is one of the reasons why her daughters are calm on the court. Serena Williams has often described her mother as ‘unbreakable’ due to her strong spirit and her ability to face problems head on.Oracene has also met the Duchess of Cambridge.
Childhood & Early Life
Oracene Price was born as Brandy Price on April 3, 1952 in Saginaw, Michigan. Her father was an automotive worker. At the age of 18, she graduated from Buena Vista High School and later went on to attend Western Michingan University.
She was married at an early age to Yusef Rasheed and had three daughters with him. Yetunde Price, her eldest daughter was a registered nurse, a beauty salon owner, and a personal assistant to Serena and Venus Williams. Yetunde was shot in a hate crime and passed away at the hospital, leaving behind three children. Oracene’s daughter Lyndrea Price is a Web designer and Isha Price is an attorney.
She married tennis coach Richard Williams, after the death of her husband Rasheed.
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Oracene inculcated her spirited attitude in her daughters Venus and Serena Williams. Richard Williams, a tennis coach himself took his daughters under his wing and trained them in tennis since they were about five years old.
Oracene also received formal training in tennis to be able to better explain to her daughters, the technical aspects of tennis. Along with her husband, she pulled her daughters out of their training academy and coached them herself.
Leaving the family home, the Williams’ shifted to Florida and training their daughters there with the help of Rick Macci. In spite of the many hardships she faced through her life, Oracene has always taught her daughter to not give in to the pressure.
Her contribution to the success of her daughters has often been overshadowed by the fact that she is their mother. She has kept her daughters focused on the game and has helped shape their career.
Oracene did not let her split with Richard Williams affect the game of their daughters. In fact, the two would regularly come together for Venus and Serena’s coaching sessions.
She has stuck by her daughters amidst controversies and hardships. In 2001, she supported her daughter during the criticism they faced for withdrawing from the Indian Wells tournament.
In 2003, when Serena Williams was booed by fans due to a complaint, Oracene stuck to her ground and strongly defended herself and Serena. In the same year, she appeared as herself in the documentary s show ‘She Got Game’.The show was hosted by rapper ‘Game’ who wrote a song for Oracene’s daughter Yetunde Price after her death in 2003.
In 2004, along with her daughters Venus and Serena, Oracene appeared in ‘E! True Hollywood Story.’
Oracene has established the OWL Foundation. It deals with encouraging children to educate themselves and also helps students financially. The foundation provides an excellent learning platform. The chief motive of the foundation is to help students with learning problems and academic failures express themselves and help them excel in academics.
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Over the years, Oracene has come to be known for being outspoken on issues of racial discrimination. She has often confronted the media about racial profiling and has said that to face such type of behavior has become quite common for Black Americans.
She also describes herself as an ardent feminist and has been vocal about the inequality seen in the field of sports. She has spoken against the objectification and over sexualization of women by the media.
Oracene has been involved with a number of charities mainly focusing on educational promotion and travelled to Africa with her daughter Serena to spread the importance and impact of education. She has also helped with the construction of schools in Senegal.
Price has spoken out against pressure saying that pressure is way too overrated. As Black Americans in the society, they have had to deal with nothing but pressure all their lives. She had also taught her daughters to not give in to pressure.
Awards & Achievements
Oracene’s coaching Venus and Serena Williams has helped them win a whopping 120 titles for singles and 28 titles for doubles.
Oracene has contributed to 49 single titles for Venus and 71 single titles for Serena. She has helped win21 doubles titles for Serena and Venus, 2 titles for Venus and 5 titles for Serena.
Her coaching has earned Serena and Venus a number of notable tournament wins including Career Golden Slam by Serena and Australian Open by Serena. Her coaching achievements also include Wimbledon, US Open, Olympic Gold Medal, WTA Tour Championships, Career Golden Slam – Doubles, French Open, and US Open by the William Sisters,
After the death of her husband Yusef Rasheed, Oracene worked as a nurse. She met Richard Williams and the couple got married in 1980 after the birth of their daughter Venus. They also had another daughter Serena in 1981.
The couple separated in 2000 and their divorce was finalized in 2002. Oracene stated irreconcilable differences as the grounds for their divorce, though Richard Williams was suspected to be violent with his wife; one time reportedly breaking three of her ribs. The violence, although unrecorded, might have been the real reason for the marriage to fall apart.
Oracene hasn’t let her coaching or the split with Richard Williams disrupt the relationship with her daughters. The couple also regularly came together to coach their daughters.She is very fond of all her daughters and is very close to them. The Williams sisters are also very close to their half sisters and are often seen socializing together.
She is also credited with keeping her daughters focused, trained and confident throughout their different careers.She has helped her daughters be strong and independent women.
Oracene has described herself as a deeply spiritual person and states it as one of the main reasons for her to be calm and unfazed.
As of August 2017, the current estimated net worth of Oracene Price is 900,000 USD.
Oracene Price bought a $310,000 house from her daughter Serena Williams for just $10.The house is of 2,804 square feet and is valued more than its selling price before.