By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 26, 2001 04:43 PM
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Tennis ace Andy Roddick, 19 — named a rising star in the current PEOPLE issue devoted to the most intriguing people of 2001 — and his celebrity net pals Serena and Venus Williams, Brenda Shultz and Chris Evert, gathered in Florida this holiday weekend. The purpose: The Andy Roddick Alumni Sports Weekend at his alma matter, Boca Raton Preparatory School, reports PEOPLE. “It was a pretty intimate event,” Roddick said after a three-hour tennis marathon. The affair raised about $50,000 for an Andy Roddick Scholarship (a grant for an underprivileged child to attend the elite Boca Prep) and for the “Back-To-Basic Angel” program, which provides very basic necessities to nearly 6,000 kids in South Florida. “It’s very rare when you see such a young player doing charity work and . . . having an awareness and respect for where he came from,” Evert, 46, told PEOPLE. While a DJ spun old disco hits and current pop tunes, onlookers witnessed the spectacle of Venus playing with two rackets simultaneously and Roddick jutting around the court like Road Runner, sending balls soaring. “Andy is fun and gives energy,” Shultz said of the youngest player to reach the U.S. Open men’s quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 1988. The day’s dynamism peaked during a rather frantic old tennis game of “Two on Two,” a pastime that Venus and Serena had cornered. “I used to play that game when I was a kid,” 2001 women’s U.S. Open winner Venus told PEOPLE. “It was a lot of fun and brought back old memories.”