c. Katey St. John for BK Reader

BK Reader Features Adrian Clarke

December 11, 2023

Prospect Park Tennis Center Director Adrian Clarke was recently featured by BK Reader. Get to know Adrian, learn about what drew him to tennis and what sparked his longtime passion for steel pan drumming.

An excerpt from the December 8 story Steel Pan Drums and Tennis: The Double Life of Brooklyn’s Adrian Clarke:

Growing up in Barbados, Adrian Clarke surrounded himself with two things: tennis and music. When he moved to Brooklyn in 1973 as a young adult, he took his two passions with him. The 67-year-old East Flatbush local now works as the director of the Prospect Park Tennis Center by day. But by night, he’s a steel pan drum player.

“When you’re playing music, usually everyone is smiling,” Clarke said. “You usually bring joy to a lot of people, and that’s the best part of it.”

Long before learning to play steel pan, Clarke began playing tennis in Barbados at the age of 12 and went on to play professionally, competing in the 1983 U.S. Open qualifying rounds.  “I wasn’t that much into school, but I needed something to be focused on. And tennis became that thing,” Clarke said.

Clarke’s two passions play a huge role in his life, and often their significance overlaps, the Brooklynite said. “You’re bringing joy to people when you’re playing music,” he said.  “When you’re teaching tennis to people, you’re also bringing something to them that they really need.”

Read the full story from BK Reader and view the video below on Adrian Clarke’s Double Life.